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.
My Take: I like Sarah Dessen. This is the second book of hers I've read and the second time I have completely enjoyed the experience. She has a way of describing not only visual experiences, but also emotional experiences that are difficult to peg. I also enjoy the way she tells a story. And I like the story.
This book's cover is misleading. It looks rather cute and sweet. Which it is but it is also deeper than the usual teen read. There is no love triangle or typical teenage angst. The story explores feelings of a child whose parents have divorced, adapting to a new family situation, detaching from parents and individuating, death, surviving, success, failure, redefining yourself and your past and getting up to do it all again tomorrow.