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From ages twelve to fourteen, I grew up on Sarah Dessen, so going back and reading her reliable, predictable books is always a pleasant and nostalgic experience.
Sydney is – like most of Dessen’s protagonists – a late-teen with no real personality who becomes a more confident and happier version of herself through interacting with more lively and likable secondary characters. It’s predictable, but it’s also fun and funny.
The brother-sister relationship here did not have the emotional resonance I would have hoped for — Sydney’s brother is serving serious jail time for an accident that left a boy crippled — and their relationship never really built up in a satisfying way. But overall it’s a book I would definitely recommend to any young adult (or fan of young adult) that is looking for more understated, quiet YA about ordinary girls growing up.