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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 traumatic 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 kind of 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?
This book was amazing and compelling, and I could not put it down. I felt like I really got this book, that I wasn't so much reading it as I was experiencing it. From the moment I was introduced to Macy, what she had been through and the life she had now sort of chosen for herself, I felt a need to rush through the book until she found happiness again. I don't think I've felt that before, but she was just so lonely and miserable without really understanding that she was. Instead of truly grieving the loss of her father, Macy built up this "perfect" life for herself, where everything were defined and scheduled, so she could hide herself and never confront grief or the past. She wanted everything to be and look perfect, she even had the perfect boyfriend to complete it. But life is far from perfect, and Macy is about to find out that maybe it doesn't have to be.
“It's just that...I just think that some things are meant to be broken. Imperfect. Chaotic. It's the universe's way of providing contrast, you know? There have to be a few holes in the road. It's how life is.”
That summer it's time for Macy to finally find herself again, to live her life, to face the past and know that it's okay to feel sadness and loss, and to remember the life she had before. And it all begins when she meets the crew at Wish. Wish is by definition chaotic, and nothing ever happens the way it should, but that doesn't matter, you just figure out along the way. This is a stark contrast to Macy, who has to plan everything. She thinks too much and never does anything impulsive. A thing I could more than relate to, and like Macy something I wish I wasn't so afraid to change. But slowly, very slowly Macy starts to let go, to let things happen as they do, not planned and certainly not perfect. Being with everyone at Wish she changes and start living again, even if it scares her to abandon her very scheduled life, she almost obsessively followed as a way of comfort.
“It was just one of those things," I said, "You know, that just happen. You don't think or plan. You just do it.”
I loved, loved everyone at Wish. Everyone was different and had their own story that defined them, and I think Dessen did a great job in creating each character, making them real and belivable. Wes and Macy's friendship was one of the best parts. He was the first one she could be honest with, and he in no way judged her for her feelings. He just listened to her, like no one had done before. Being with Wes she could finally leave her idea of a perfect life and realize that you can't really be perfect, but being imperfect and flawed might actually be better. Everyone had an impact on Macy's life, and she learnt something from everyone of them, about herself, about life and about forever.
I really liked Dessen writing, and I liked that she showed instead of told. Macy didn't always clarify her feelings, or had those inner monologues where she tells what she is feeling. It was more based on her actions. You could see the change in her in the things she did and the way she thought differently about certain things.
So, I think I kind of fell in love with this story. It had me laughing, thinking, cheering, crying and wondering. The book stayed with me even after I finished the last page, and I love a book that makes me reflect upon life. There were so many little things that were important in the book, that I cannot even sum up. It's like all these small details make a whole and together they are significant.
“It's all in the view. That's what I mean about forever, too. For any one of us our forever could end in an hour, or a hundred years from now. You never know for sure, so you'd better make every second count.”
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆