Why I picked it up: Trying to read a bunch of Dessen.
Itâ€™s heartbreaking because when the sisters were younger Cora took the brunt of her motherâ€™s behavior to protect Ruby and somewhere along the way they lost that. Their sibling dynamics, in addition to Rubyâ€™s â€œfriendshipâ€ with the boy-next-door, Nate (who has problems of his own), really force Ruby to examine her past and figure out how to stumble forward.
What made this book so addicting for me was the gradual change in all of the characters and the realization that the word â€œfamilyâ€ means many things to different people. Sometimes that is a lot to deal with, especially for Ruby and Cora, who grew up with a mother who was destructive in a number of ways.
Dessen does a great job of making these characters and their feelings tangible and by the final chapters, I couldnâ€™t stop picking up the book during my work day. I was satisfied that she left readers with realistic conclusions and most of all, hope.