Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?
Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.
The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.
My goodness, that Sarah Dessen sure knows how to write!
Seriously though, in classic Dessen fashion, this book was lovely and meaningful. I laughed, I cried, and I wanted to be part of the story. The friendship between Layla and Sydney was incredible (friendship connoisseur?). I also really loved Eric and Layla, and would love for them to have a story of their own (even though I know that type of thing doesn’t happen). Mac was sweet, but I actually felt that their relationship wasn’t as well developed as some past Dessen loves. I hated Ames, hated Spence, and uh… I think I’m trying my hardest not to hate Peyton. It’s a start, right?
Lakeview is as great as ever, and I loved the little Easter eggs for Just Listen and This Lullaby. Welcome back Bendo, hello to another great band (even if they’re not Truth Squad level). Since it’s been a while, I have a feeling that I didn’t notice all of the references.
This story really reminded me of Just Listen. It touches some similar “serious” topics, feelings, and parenting issues. And the tasty business was SO reminiscent of The Truth About Forever. But don’t get me wrong — this story was uniquely its own.
I’m glad the carousel was related, and the title was important too.
- Just Listen – Sarah Dessen
- The Truth About Forever – Sarah Dessen
- Sarah Dessen is in a league of her own!