Publisher: Viking Juvenile
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After a scandal involving her mother and a famous college basketball coach rocked her family and her old hometown, McClean decided to live with her dad. His job as a restaurant consultant requires they pick up often, and at each new place she carefully selects who she’ll be—Eliza, Beth, or someone else with a new name and different interests. It’s easier this way for McClean, who is reluctant to form any true attachments. Then at their latest stop, McClean does something she’s not done in a long while—reveal her real name. But who is this McClean, and is she ready to forgive her mother, fall for the boy next door, and finally stick around?
What I thoughtI've read quite a few Sarah Dessen books now and I'm very happy I've finally come across her books and given them a chance. While the endings seem a bit abrupt, I really enjoy the story that Dessen weaves like only she can.
I really felt bad for McLean and her father in this book. I don't know if I ever warmed to her mother and I can't say why I was so firmly against anything to do with McLean's mother, but I did find myself hoping McLean would found a way to get rid of her. But, it did make for an interesting story. I really liked reading about how McLean reinvented herself at 3 other schools (even if it might not be entirely healthy) and her lack of a new self for her most recent move. It made her endearing as she learned to finally be herself.
I really liked her father. He was a passionate guy, who loved his daughter. While McLean ended up taking care of him more than she should have for a daughter, you could see the love they had for each other practically glow from the pages. It was sweet.
I wasn't sure what to make of the romance in this at first. Dave wasn't someone I would have clung to at first, but after a bit, he really grows on you! I really felt bad for the way he grew up. While he didn't have a bad childhood or anything, he wasn't really able to do the things that kids normally do. Like get in trouble, have friends, go out. I was glad to see his character grow a bit too as the story unfolded.
Of course, along with the others, I highly recommend this book. Sarah Dessen is pure genius when she puts pen to paper. Or fingers to keyboard.
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