My sister has a ton of Sarah Dessen books on her shelf at home, and of course they are all over Booklr. I’d yet to pick one up until now, though. I wanted to get some YA in for #ReadWomen, since that was where most of the controversy started, and her name kept coming up on the lists I was pulling.
After Macy’s father dies, she tries to control her grief by being perfect at everything. She latches on to a boy genius who lives his life by lists, never veering from his very rigid expectations. While this pulls her from her grief, Jason is going to Brain Camp, and while he’s gone the unexpected starts to pull Macy from that rigidity.
First things first, as someone with anxiety, I related to so much in this book. I have a tendency to overdo lists and schedules and routine. I don’t always handle spontaneity well. Because of this, I loved watching Macy blossom out of her comfort zone and make friends and open up. Dessen also covers the topic of grief from every angle possible–active, passive, completely overwhelming, and even sometimes patronizing. It’s a great discussion on how it feels to lose someone, and how others around us react to grief.
My only real criticism is that there needed to be a little more division between moment changes. Maybe it was just the ebook copy I was reading–I’d be interested to see the actual book version–but there were no division lines or even extra spacing between section breaks. This made the reading timeline a little confusing when it would jump hours or overnight and it would just be the next paragraph. That’s a publishing error though, not the author’s fault.
Would it be weird for me to say I wish Sarah Dessen’s covers weren’t so pastel and girly? I mean, I like pastel and girly things, but this was way more serious of a book than I expected, and I probably would have picked up a Dessen novel sooner if I wasn’t turned off by the cover. Don’t judge a book by its cover certainly got me here. 4 Book Dragons.