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“Seventeen-year-old Alyssa thought she knew who she was. She had her family and her best friends and, most important, she had Sarah. Sarah, her girlfriend, with whom she dreamed about the day they could move far away and live out and proud and accepted for themselves, instead of having to hide their relationship.

Alyssa never thought she would have to make that move by herself. But disowned by her father and cut off from everyone she loves, she is forced to move hundreds of miles away to live with Carly, the biological mother she barely knows, in a town where everyone immediately dismisses her as “Carly’s girl.” As Alyssa struggles to forget her past and come to terms with her future, will she be able to build a new life for herself and believe in love again? Or will she be forced to relive the mistakes that have cost her everything and everyone she cared about?”

This was one of those stories that is told from the present about the past in flashbacks that slowly revealed the past and explains why the characters are all messed up now. I loved it in this case. Often times I don’t like that sort of back and forth, but I liked it a lot in this case. I didn’t read the description since I just love this author.

The book opens with a teen girl who has moved in with her mother and is very angry at her father. Throughout the book you get little pieces of the story of her love life that went really sour really fast and the history of her mother who Alyssa knew nothing about. This gave the story dimension and allowed the jumping back and forth still feel fresh and real. Alyssa was clearly not over what happened so it let me feel all the fresh feelings and all the new ones too. It was fantastic.

The only thing I didn’t like was the new love story. *Start Spoiler* I did not like that a character that has made her life on leaving and moving on, would stay just for a 17 year old girl *End Spoiler*. I really wish the plot had a final wrap up, but I was also rooting for it to happen. I am torn on that.

The bond between mother and daughter was great. The mother gave up Alyssa not long after she was born and then did not have a great deal of contact. It was great to see that adults were not perfect, but they were still good people. That is a rare complex picture of an adult in a YA book. Most YA books have the abusive parents, the perfect parents, or the absent parent. There is rarely any explanation of why and the parents are rarely fleshed out to be real characters.

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5 out of 5 stars. I would highly recommend this book.

You can buy this book here.

~Isaiah

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