Author: Sarah Dessen
Date Started: October 16
Date Finished: October 19
Format: Paperback from my local library
On the morning of Catlin’s Sweet 16, her older sister – Cass – has runaway from home. Her parents are frantic. This isn’t like Cass. She’s a straight A student, early admission to Yale, she was a junior debater, and star on the varsity soccer team. But after a summer at the beach where she met Adam, she realized she didn’t want to be perfect anymore.
Catlin doesn’t know what to do, she’s always felt second best to her sister, and she tries her best to fill the gap her sister left. She joins the cheerleading team, but she is just going through the motions. She hates cheerleading. She hates the fact that Mike wants to give her his letterman jacket when he doesn’t even know her. So when she runs into Rogerson at a car wash before the big party, he’s exactly what she needed. He introduces her to a world that she didn’t know existed and she starts to distancing herself from her old life in favor of this new one with Rogerson. But eventually, she realizes that she’s living a dream and sometimes those dreams turn into nightmares.
It’s been 11 years since I’ve last tried to read this book, and I actually made it to the end this time. This book was just like any other Sarah Dessen book with the build up of romance between two characters but one or more of them are suffering from something. Until Rogerson hits Caitlin, then this book takes on a tone that hasn’t been explored before in her books, not even in Just Listen or Lock and Key. It took a lot of me, but eventually I did finish this book and I still didn’t like it.
In the last three chapters, Catlin is recovering from Rogerson’s abuse and she goes on and on about how she doesn’t want to blame anyone. Not her mother. Not her father. Not Rina, and mostly definitely not herself. I couldn’t stand those chapters. She needed to blame someone for what happened to her. She should have blamed Rogerson and herself for letting it go on that long. I understand that she was still kind of reeling from what happened with her sister and he was her lifeline to normalcy, but even after all those beatings don’t you eventually have to wake up and say what am I doing? Why am I still with him?
Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. Catlin is a great character who deserved to be stronger in this book than what she was. Rogerson deserves to rot like Will Cash and Rina needs to pay closer attention to her friends instead of her messy love triangles.
Bookshelf worthy? Although I own most of Dessen’s work, I’m passing on this one. Support your local library!