I know this is going to be a minority voice, but I couldn’t really see the huge appeal of this book. It was okay, but I think that by next week I’ll have forgotten all about it. It’s a book mainly about bereavement and grief and the different ways in which people deal with it and how it affects their relationships with the people around them, but it’s also chick-lit, so nothing is ever delved into with any great depth.
The plot is kind of slow and not a lot really happens, but I quite liked the author’s writing style so I didn’t mind too much. She’s quite descriptive without being flowery and I got a real sense of some of the scenes she set.
I really liked some of the supporting characters. Macy’s sister Caroline was interesting - she had a chequered past which contrasted nicely with her super-respectable life and she was the only person who told things like they were. Kristy was really cool too - she was sassy and funky and seemed to know who she was. Bert was funny and Wes was okay as a love interest.
I had literally no idea what Monica was even doing in the book - she does nothing (both in terms of physical action and of moving the plot forward) and her vocal repertoire is limited to four words - "Donneven," "Bettaquit," "Nuh-uh," and "Mmm-hmm." The characters all make jokes about this, which was amusing, but I didn’t really understand why she was included as a character. Maybe to reflect how energetic and lively Kristy was by comparison? Don’t know.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t keen on Macy. I know that she was still grieving for her father, but she was so closed-off that I never really got a sense of who she was. I couldn’t picture her in my head, either what she looked like, the things she enjoyed, how she would react in a particular situation. She did grow as the book progressed and learnt to embrace chaos a little, so that was something, but her constant strive for perfection irritated me.
And Jason, her kind-of boyfriend? Oh my word! He was basically Sheldon Cooper (obsessive, genius, emotionally cold, not fond of physical contact) but without the laughs. He was so ridiculously awful that it just made me wonder why she was with him in the first place. At best he was emotionally barren and at worst he was just mean to her. Who suggests a break in a relationship via email? To be fair to Macy, she didn’t seem bothered at all when this happened, which made me think again, ‘What were you even doing with him??’
I wouldn’t completely rule out reading one of Sarah Dessen’s books in the future, but if they’re all like this then they won’t be high on my TBR list.