First, to Sarah Dessen, the author of this book, I want to say: I’m sorry I doubted you.
Disclaimer: this is not a book review. This is what I’m thinking about the book. I am not nearly objective enough about a Sarah Dessen book to write a review.
If you know me at all, or have read my post about favorite author interactions, then you know that I’m a huge Sarah Dessen fan. She’s my favorite writer. But in the past couple of months, I’ve been really worried about this book coming out and not affecting me the way the rest of her books have, all because the narrator is only 18 and leaving high school and I’m about to be a senior in college.
Yeah…that was a ridiculous concern.
I read the book in less than twelve hours. In the middle of that, there was some driving and a class, but it still took me longer than I expected, because parts of it were hard to read. Not “I have no idea what you’re saying” hard or “I’m bored out of my mind” hard, but “this is about exactly what’s been bothering me in my life and I have to pause and think about that” hard.
So on one page, I was tearing up as she wrote about Emmaline’s relationship with her mother and, 20 pages later, I was giggling over the reference from The Truth About Forever (which, if you know anything about me at all, you know is my favorite book ever).
And then, of course, while I’m worrying about doing what I want to after graduation, figuring out a way to write and live like a nomad, and thinking that, if I don’t do all of this RIGHT NOW, I will get too old and tied down to do anything that’s not 9 to 5 or domestic, she throws this at me:
“Life is long. Just because you don’t get your chance right when you want or expect it doesn’t mean it won’t come. Fate doesn’t punch a time clock or consult a schedule.”
And I sobbed. I spent a good five minutes unable to read further because I was too busy bawling.
So thank you Sarah for, once again, giving me the assurance that there are Summers That Change Everything and that, no matter how it looks right now, I’m going to turn out just fine.