Author: Sarah Dessen
First Edition Release Date: Sep. 2000
Publisher (of my edition): Speak
Colie still sees herself as the fat, friendless, girl who is always relocating and constantly being teased. But, now, her mother is off motivating others to lose the weight her and Colie lost and Colie is forced to stay with her aunt in Colby, a small town in North Carolina. She finds herself faced with an assortment of brave, and slightly odd, people. With the help of her co-workers at her new waitressing job Colie learns to see the beauty in herself and to let go of the past.
I love this book. It's a great summer read. It's quick and has great characters and the scenes and situations grab you. Colie struggles with her image of herself, but it's not irritating. Sometimes characters will have too much self pity, but Colie is more subtle. Sarah Dessen can write about serious situations and show how the characters aren't constantly thinking about it, and that the small things shape our lives, too.
Everything is odd. The characters are the oddest. They had strange habits and said strange things and were surrounded by strange objects, and they were kind of random, too. They were the kind of people you'll stare at in wonder. When Norman was first descriped I thought "Really? He's going to be the main guy?", but now I am very fond of Norman. He's so odd, but not as odd as Mira. I have a fondness for her, too. It helps that she makes cards like I do! I knew Isabel would be an interesting character, and she was. Her and Morgan were exactly what Colie needed. They all were. I loved watching Colie grow and I like the person she became.
When I read a book by Sarah Dessen I'll sometimes get to a point where I wonder where a character dissapeared to and on the next page the character is there! She knows exactly when they're needed. Her books are balanced with what is needed to keep the reader happy and with plausible substance. The word "perfect" comes to my mind when I read her books.