Author: Sarah Dessen
Hardcover: 374 pages
Publisher: Viking (Penguin)
Summary (from goodreads):
Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She’s stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she’ll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father’s recent unexpected death.
But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother’s open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy joins the Wish team. She loves everything about, the work and the people. But the best thing about Wish is Wes—artistic, insightful, and understanding Wes—who gets Macy to look at life in a whole new way, and really start living it.
This might be my favorite Dessen book, I don’t know it is close. I absolutely loved the characters, which is what Sarah Dessen does so well. Macy was so realistic. She pushed and pushed to make her mother happy, to make her think that Macy was doing okay after losing her father and to deal with her grief. She worked hard and did everything right, but she was missing one thing – happiness. I loved seeing her transform throughout the book from a scared girl who can’t stand up for herself to a strong young woman who is finally letting herself be happy.
As always, the secondary characters were amazing too. Wes was swoon worthy…but not (just) because he is gorgeous. Mostly it is because he is such a great guy. He watches out for his younger brother, a well-meaning geek. He is an artist who isn’t pretentious and works hard to make what he loves. He is honest and makes MAcy feel comfortable enough to share things she hasn’t told anyone. *Sigh* he is a great literary crush!
I liked all of her friends from the catering group and how much they contrasted from her “perfect” jerk of a boyfriend and his perfect friends. They were fun and kind and seemed to really know what friendship was. I would be Kristy’s friend in a heartbeat!
I did find something that bugs me about Dessen books – there tends to be a mother who is very pushy, kind of bitchy, and who does not try to understand her daughter at all. I really couldn’t stand her mother in this and I think she could have had some redemption before the very end of the book.
If you haven’t read a book by Sarah Dessen yet (and really, where have you been?) this is a great place to start. It was a really enjoyable read about real issues, and a great main character who finds happiness that seems impossible.
What did you think of the book? Do you know of any authors that have an aspect in many of their books that you can’t stand? Let me know in the comments!