It’s not exactly easy living in a shrine to your dead sister. Since birth, I’ve known that everyone loved Shannon. She was perfect–beautiful, smart, talented. And me? Not so much. My parents always expected me to live up to her greatness. But I could never measure up to her, so why even try?
This summer, I’ve started reading the journal Shannon kept just before she died . . . and suddenly nothing is what I thought it was. The more secrets I learn about Shannon and our family, the more everything changes. And as it turns out, facing the truth is no cakewalk, either. -Goodreads Synopsis
Who hasn’t been irritated by the standards set by their older siblings, really? It’s frustrating, but that’s just how it is. (Ignore that part Heather. Love you sista!) This story follows Summer, a teen muddling through life in the shadow of her deceased sister. She has a perfect image of her older sister, which is somewhat shattered when she starts reading the journal from her sister’s last few months.
This book was on the YABA list, which I am thankfully almost through with. Honestly, I can’t wait to be done with it. I am not a big fan of realistic fiction and I put off as much of it as I could until the very end. I had decently high expectations for this book, and I was a little disappointed. It was a good read, but when I read the description about Shannon keeping secrets, I expecting something juicy, or at least unusual. Something along the lines of, “Dear Diary, today I decided to change my name to Catman, get a Vera Bradley tattoo on my face, and live with the dolphins in the Port Royal Sound,” would have been refreshing. But it basically came down to the same issues that a lot of families have.
But wait, there is something I really liked!
How most YA relationships are handled:
How Summer’s relationship is handled:
I really like how Deriso handles the relationship between Summer and her boyfriend. It is really refreshing to see a relationship in a YA book that isn’t super clingy/needy/overly-adult/dependent/irritating in general. I actually wanted to read more about him since the relationship isn’t thrown in my face every two seconds and he actually has a personality outside of being Summer’s boyfriend. Seriously, I don’t need a play by play of how his hair blows in the wind on the beach while he wears his great blue sandals and you look out over the ocean. So kudos on the not-annoying relationship front! I like the way you think!
Star Rating: 3.5/5