I must admit, after reading The Truth About Forever, I was looking forward to reading another Dessen novel. She’s a successful YA author who is noted consistently on bestseller and YA literature lists. And since I’m writing YA, reading the genre helps a tremendous amount.
The story focuses on a teenage girl named Cailtin, whose older sister has run away right before she was supposed to head to Yale, leaving her family in the dust. Caitlin had always relied on her older sister and now with her gone, she feels more lost than ever. In an effort to try to pave her own way as an only child in her household, she makes the cheerleading squad at school with her best friend, and starts dating an infamous bad boy.
Rogerson, the ‘bad boy,’ is abused at home, and then starts abusing Caitlin. This happens quite abruptly in the story and I will say that Dessen does do an adequate job of depicting what it could be like to experience a physically abusive relationship, especially as a vulnerable young girl. But I found a lot of the secondary characters quite cookie-cutter, lacking emotional depth.The story of abuse is a powerful, and is probably a subject that more young girls should be reading about, no matter how tough it is to digest at times. I found the ending rushed, and while (spoiler alert!) it was a happy conclusion; it didn’t really tie up the loose ends that I would think readers would be interested in.
Unfortunately, I didn’t love the book. I am, however, giving Sarah Dessen another chance; especially since I just found out that she’s a Veronica Mars fan as well :). This just wasn’t a great book for me, particularly compared to The Truth About Forever.
For me, her stories are now 1 for 2. I’m hoping soon for a 2 for 3.