My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: 2002
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary Romance
She’s got it all figured out.
Or does she? When it comes to relationships, Remy’s got a whole set of rules.
Never get too serious. Never let him break your heart. And never, ever date a musician.
But then Remy meets Dexter, and the rules don’t seem to apply anymore.
Could it be that she’s starting to understand what all those love songs are about?
I’ve been reading a lot of children’s classics lately, so it felt good to pick a young adult romance novel by a familiar author to switch atmospheres. This is exactly what I expected and wanted from Sarah Dessen: a profound, but not too heavy, relationship-focused contemporary book.
You’ve probably read dozens of novels, if not more, like this one. Or so you might think. The main character—Remy—doesn’t believe in everlasting love, which is why she breaks up with her boyfriends after a certain amount of time, never getting too attached. Until she meets that special someone who makes her see things differently.
Admit it, this seems like a very familiar storyline. But still I decided to read this book nonetheless, because I trust Sarah Dessen to write engaging and meaningful stories, whatever the themes are. And I was right to trust her. As always, she doesn’t only focus on one thing—the romance—but on other important topics as well.
Remy has had many boyfriends before, that’s true. But she doesn’t take them seriously, just like she doesn’t take her relationships seriously, so you don’t have to worry about her obsessing over guys. Even Dexter takes time to warm up to her. What troubles her is her mother’s new husband, who she is sure won’t last, just like the others. And then there’s her brother who seems to have changed tremendously lately. Now she doesn’t know how to connect to him anymore.
Luckily, Remy has her friends, who support her in her decision to keep things between her and guys light. The great thing about this young woman is that she is an authentic person. She is strong, intelligent and determined, but she also has her weaknesses that sometimes keep her from looking at the bright side of things. Her pessimistic view of love keeps her from experiencing the wonders of it. That’s why Dexter could be a good match for her, if she would only open herself to the possibility of it.
I think if this had only been about Dexter wooing Remy I would have enjoyed this a lot less, but because Remy’s mind is on different things too—college, her mother, her brother, her future, her father, her friends—the romance is never overwhelming. In the contrary, this novel isn’t necessarily ‘‘romantic.’’ But it does illustrate the beginnings of a promising relationship and explore the importance of love and relationships. I especially loved Remy’s mother’s discourse on why we should always take a chance on love, even if we don’t believe it’s forever.
Follow me on: