Auden’s parents recently divorced and she currently lives with her high strung, controlling mother. But for the summer she decides to visit her dad, step-mom, and new stepsister, Thisbe. Auden has always been very studious and done exactly what her mother asked of her. But this summer she does things she never had a chance to experience in high school, such as hanging out with girlfriends, having a boyfriend, and learning to take care of baby Thisbe. She also helps her dad and step-mom’s struggling and complicated relationship by teaching her dad that they can start over. In this novel, Auden comes to better understand and accept herself for who she is and she learns to love life.
This is a well written novel that brings to life struggles that many teens have while growing up. Some of these concern marital issues and divorce of parents, friendship, and coming to understand oneself. Sarah Dessen has a way with words that makes her stories real, helping readers to connect with characters in the stories.
Genre: realistic fiction; drama; romance
Literary awards: Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Nominee (2010), Teen Read Award Nominee for Best Read (2010), Goodreads Choice for Young Adult Fiction (2009)
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication date: June 16, 2009
Number of pages: 338
Grade Level: 7+