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Luke is everything a girl could every want in a guy. He's funny, handsome, smart, and nice. But after dating him for so long, Emaline wonders if he's enough for her. After all, she was brought up being told that she deserves the moon, and more. When she meets Theo, he is nothing like Emaline's ever experienced before. A sophisticated New Yorker, he visits her small tourist town for the summer and helps her find a whole new perspective on her world. Emaline always tries to please everyone, working extra hours at her job, applying for the schools her family wants her too and just trying to be the best at everything. Emaline struggles to find a balance between the familiar feel of Colby and her dreams of branching out.
Dessen brings us back to the familiar town of Colby, where several of her other books have taken place. This time, however, she gives us a fresh perspective – instead of a tourist visiting Colby during a short period of time to find herself, she writes about a Colby native. Although the plot was a bit slow at times and not exactly indicative of Dessen's usual writing, it worked here. It's a book of empowerment – Emaline doesn't need a man to complete her life. In fact, it's the opposite. When she is able to let go of some of the weights holding her back in her life, she is able to discover the path she really wants to take. Dessen's writing style is somewhat different from her other novels, but it is still the familiar charming writing that brings to attention numerous issues that teenage girls face.
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