“Believe in yourself…and it will make you stronger than you could ever imagine.”
Synopsis from Goodreads: Never underestimate the power of friendship. When Colie goes to spend the summer at the beach, she doesn’t expect much. But Colie didn’t count on meeting Morgan and Isabel. Through them, she learns what true friendship is all about, and finally starts to realize her potential. And that just might open the door to her first chance at love…
Feelings: I feel like Sarah Dessen somehow got access to my high school brain and adapted it for this novel. I mean, the title should be The Book of Caitlyn. I identified with Colie on so many different levels and this book had a message that rang so deeply true to me. This is such a great read for teenagers, especially those struggling with body image or weight, bullying, and self-confidence. This book shows its readers that the light comes from within, it’s not about how others see you; no one else can define you but you. What a great message to share through a YA summer beach book.
Issues: As I marathon Dessen’s books, I start to notice the subtle differences between each book’s…charm? This one was a quick and easy read, but my heart-strings weren’t as involved as some of her others. I wanted to punch a bully, sure, but I wasn’t sighing or swooning. Part of that is because this isn’t a straight up romance, like some of her others. So I guess that’s okay. It was just different. The whole tone of the book wasn’t as captivating.
Characters: Colie, Colie, Colie. Homegirl needed a summer in Colby with her crazy Aunt Mira. Heck, I’d like to spend a summer in Colby with crazy Aunt Mira! Colie had a lot of struggles swirling around her that she didn’t fully understand. It took some truth telling, some encouragement, and some painting to do the trick.
I love the dynamic between Morgan and Isabel. Every friendship needs the pessimist and the optimist, the yin to the yang. Isabel was a bit sharp at times, but honest and in the end, very caring. Morgan was a bit naive, seeing things through rose colored lenses, but she just needed time to come back down to earth. These characters are so dang realistic.
I think we all need a Norman in our life. And that scene when Isabel snaps Colie back to reality when they’re talking about Norman…YES. (I won’t go into detail because I want you to read it for yourself.) I love characters that are unafraid to be themselves and could not possibly care less what other people think. I just wish we had a little more closure on what happened between him and his family. He deserves a better resolution.
Final thoughts: I really love this book. This will be one of those that I revisit (probably multiple times.) It has a powerful message that’ll stay with you, empower you, and make you say, “Yeah…you go, Colie.”
Pick this up if you liked:
Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
Goodreads rating: 3.86/5
Amazon.com rating: 4.2/5
My rating: 4.25/5
Happy reading! – Caitlyn