Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars

Genre:  YA* Contemporary


“Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.”


This was a cute book and very much relatable. Sydney, the MC, lives a privileged life in the sense that her parents are rich, she has a beautiful car and house, and is able to go to an expensive school. Yet, we all know impressions and materialistic things don’t convey happiness. Her older brother Peyton is in jail, her mother’s world revolves around only Peyton, and her dad barely pays her any attention. Sydney is an invisible girl and only wishes someone could see her. Then enter the Chathams who are a real family who make the most of what they have and completely change Sydney’s world in the best possible way.

The plot of this story was an interesting one if not a little repetitive. A majority of contemporary books that I’ve read have a similar story-line to this book and I guess that’s why the contemporary genre is not my favorite. Overall, this book did leave me interested enough to finish it but it was a little slow in the beginning.

I loved the characters though, every single one of them! They each had their own personalities and seemed to come alive. Sydney was so relatable. Every girl has at some point in her life felt invisible to the world, so reading about a character’s struggles that I can relate to made me feel like I wasn’t alone. I adored Layla so much guys. She was the bright side to Sydney’s life at home. And her French Fries ritual was such a nice touch! Mac was the quiet, reserved guy who was such a sweetheart. And Ames, who I have nothing good to say about. He was such a creeper and the fact that Sydney’s parents didn’t realize this fact until it was ALMOST too late made me so mad. I’m glad he got what he deserved in the end though.

What I really didn’t like about this book was the promise of a romance….and not delivering. Mac and Sydney didn’t even hold a proper conversation until the book was almost over. I kept waiting and waiting and a person could only wait for so long. I was really aggravated by the time they finally got together. And the summary stated that Mac “who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.” I definitely disagree. I felt that Layla was the FIRST person because they’re friendship was such a good one, then Mac came a close second.

Overall, this was an OK book for me but I still would recommend this book to people who want something relatable.

*Picture and summary from Goodreads.*

Check out this review and others on my personal blog http://bookbubblebee.wordpress.com.

Until next time!

Published by Samer Tadele