Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: 16/09/2009
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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.
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.
Bored and tired of her mother's constant expectations, Auden chooses to spend her summer with her father, step-mother and their new baby. However she quickly realises that her days are not going to be carefree bliss at the beach when she turns up to find her father in his study, writing his new book and ignoring the new arrival. Meanwhile her step-mom Heidi is at the brink of a breakdown and Auden has to step in to help.
This is quite a long story, but I really enjoyed it. It's also my first Sarah Dessen read and I really appreciated that she didn't make it all about the romance, but about Auden's relationships with her friends and family. It took me a while to like Eli, who came across as kind of cold when she ran into him (repeatedly). Probably because she'd just been with his brother.
I absolutely hated Auden's father. Probably because he reminded strongly of the man I used to call my father and have now completely cut him out of my life. Auden's father has excuses for every little thing and point blank refuses to care for the baby, citing that he's told Heidi she can get a nanny in and then quickly disappearing into his study to continue writing his stupid book.
Auden's mother, on the other hand, I loved. She's a very strict parent, wanting Auden to be all about grades and achieving but I really warmed to her constant sarcasm, sensing a like minded individual. “And all that pink. It's like a giant vagina in there”. She made me laugh on so many occasions that I started really looking forward to her phone calls.
Romance. You want to hear about the romance right? It was pretty perfect, after a shaky start that involved cupcakes and a screaming ex-girlfriend. My favourite parts of their relationship was at night, where they'd both talk late into the night at cafes or diners, or even go bowling. The whole idea of Auden and Eli sleeping for most of the morning and staying out late just really appealed to me.
As I mentioned, I'm late to the Sarah Dessen party and have only read this book - however, I loved it so much I'm going to search around for a whole book pack of hers and read myself to death. I just know that I need a whole set of these books on my shelves.