Rating: [rate 5.0]
A LONG, HOT SUMMER…
That’s what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the loss of Macy’s father.
But sometimes unexpected things can happen — things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister’s project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the boy who could turn any girl’s world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to wonder, Is it really better to be safe than sorry?
The blurb does not do justice with the whole book. It says a lot about the story, but nothing about the amazing characters.
Macy Queen strives to be perfect. Not because she wanted to, but she felt like she needed to. After the death of her father, she started hiding inside herself, convinced that her mother needed her to be strong. Macy tries to get perfect grades, gets the perfect (and smart) boyfriend, and is prepared to face the long summer with the things expected of her.
But with anyone who tries to avoid the proper stages of grieving in losing a loved one, it always catches up on you. That summer, Macy’s world turns upside down when she meets the Wish Catering crew. There’s Delia, the very pregnant owner of the business; Kristy, the fashionable girl who befriends Macy and gets her to go to the parties they go to; Monica, Kristy’s sister who barely utters a word (and probably can’t say a word about weight loss pill); Bert, the Armageddon-obsessed dorky guy who drives an ambulance; and finally, Wes, the guy with the past (as the blurb mentioned), and probably the hottest fictional guy I’ve ever read about. :P Seriously, there’s something about how Dessen wrote about Wes that makes me crush on him. :P
The cast of characters is one of the things that make this book interesting. I can’t imagine not having any of them there, even the two snobby girls at the library that Macy hates. Their reactions to the plot felt so real that I felt like I was there with them while reading it. I don’t think there’s any catering company that has as many disasters as the Wish catering crew did, but it’s that chaos that makes them who they are.
Story wise, it’s pretty straightforward. The things that happened aren’t that unexpected, really, like Macy’s mom’s breakdown or her leaving the job. It’s what you’d expect to happen in a storyline like this, and even if it is expected, it worked. The characters managed to carry the whole book through and leave an important lesson about grieving and imperfection.
I think that in a lot of ways, he was the kind of guy I was always looking for: one who wasn’t so interested in the “perfect,” girl, whoever she might be. A boy who likes flaws, who sees potential in everything. While Delia’s company may represent chaos, Wes to me is hope. To him, nothing is ever finished, or broken. It’s just waiting to be incarnated, to begin as something new, again.
Now who wouldn’t fall for a guy like that? :P
This is the type of book that I will re-read every year, just to get that tingling and fluttery feeling whenever Macy and Wes would start getting close. :) This is certainly one of the best YA books I’ve ever read. And if you’re into YA, I suggest you read it too.