Everyone has been insisting I read this book, so here goes!
Summary (as seen on Goodreads):
Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything" — at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store.
This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.
Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.
- Kirsten and Whitney's development over the course of the story. It shows that main characters aren't the only ones who develop, and is true to the fact that people are dynamic.
- Owen throwing a punch. Up until then he seemed a bit too perfect, in a way, so it was nice to see that he is still human.
- The pushing for honesty throughout the story. It was really refreshing to read about.
- The car-washing scene. For some reason, it was so different and out there and makes me want to drive through a car-wash now just to see if Annabel is right.
- The disagreement on what is good music. It's natural for Owen and Annabel to not agree on what kind of music they happen to like, and I enjoyed that they agreed to disagree and learned to work with each other.
- Totally did not see the explanation for what happened to Sophie and Annabel's friendship coming. Nice surprise.
- I really like Clarke. She's pretty cool.
- Mallory as a character was mostly just bothersome. Parts of her character weren't unrealistic, per say, but a little more credit can be given to girls her age. They're not all as annoying as Mallory came across as.
- Annabel came across as just an okay character as well. She took a little too long to learn certain things, which made it frustrating to be reading from her point of view sometimes.
- This is probably just personal preference, but the fluctuation of really long first chapters to shorter last chapters was a bit strange, and it was hard to focus during the first part of the book.
- Lack of hints about what actually happened when Annabel and Sophie stopped being friends. While it is a plausible explanation, a little more build up to what happened would've helped.
- Annabel mostly getting through her problems with the help of a boy. While there is nothing wrong with this, it felt a little odd and dangerous to insinuate that a boy is necessary to someone overcoming a problem, instead of one among a few people who can help.
- More about Sophie would've been nice. She just comes across as a really mean girl, and most people are not as simple as that. More character development for her would've been nice.
Overall, not a bad book. I'm not absolutely in love with it and maybe something about Dessen's writing style doesn't resonate with me enough to rate it a 5, but I'll give it 4 jellyfish still.
Thanks for tuning in, and see you next week for another book review!