It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.
A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.
This is the first Dessen book I've read, and I know there are a lot of Dessen fans out there. She is one of the most famous young adult writers as she tackles real life situations, and her characters are so relatable and very realistic.
Let me just say: this book completely and utterly blew me away. The book starts off with Auden, a high achieving academic, and who, after the summer before she goes off to university, decides to go and visit her father, stepmother and half sister at a small town called Colby. It was there that she meets Eli, a loner, who helps her experience some of the things she missed out with when she was a child. She then goes on a mini-quest with him, and eventually falls for him.
Very, very cute story. It revolves around Auden trying to be her age and enjoying what life can offer her instead of acting all grown up and engrossing herself into the world of academics and trying to embrace that failure can help make you grow instead of making you feel like well, a failure. I loved Auden. I love the fact that she cannot ride a bicycle (because I can't too) and she learned how to and forced herself to keep on climbing back up the bicycle seat time and time again even though she kept falling.
I also loved the quests she kept on doing with Eli. It also shows how, if you managed to not experience something before, you could always try and make an effort to experience them, regardless of your age. The thing was, you tried, and that's what makes all the difference. At least when the time comes when you're really old, you won't have regrets when you look back and say "I wish I've done this or that, or I wonder what my life would have been like had I..." - There's nothing more sad than a life that was full of what-ifs and regrets.
Well there you go, my new philosophy in life. This book cannot have come at a better time!
Book was given by Lenore for review (thanks Lenore! :) )