Published: May 5th, 2015
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
"There's no shame in trying to make broken stuff work, is how I see it. It's better than just accepting the broken."
Sydney's family is broken. Her brother Peyton was sentenced to prison for hitting a person while driving under the influence. Sydney's mother is desperate to keep up with Peyton in prison--visits, phone calls, everything she can possibly do. Sydney's father throws himself into work. Sydney just feels guilty. She needs a major change. So she switches school.
"You only really fall apart in front of the people you know can piece you back together."
Sydney has no friends at her new school. And it's a change to go from an elite private school to a regular public school. She finds herself visiting the pizza place against the way. Just to waste time. She ends up befriending the brother and sister whose family's own the place. And everything is going well, until it all falls apart.
As usual I loved Sarah Dessen's work. She knows how to make realistic fiction feel real. People aren't perfect and events aren't perfect, and of course, everything goes wrong when it should go right. Dessen fantastically relates the many varieties of family (although she sticks to the two-parent, heterosexual kind). I think Dessen also really does well with female friendships which is something that makes me very happy. There aren't enough friendships out there.
I would recommend this to fans of Dessen's other works, as well as fans of romance.