Sophomore in high school, Marisa, is hoping this year will be full of dreams come true. She and her best friend, Sterling, get together every year at the end of summer and make their plans together.
Last year, Marisa was majorly depressed... as in went into therapy depressed. This year it's all going to be different. She's going to avoid the downward spiral, dream about Derek, the boy of her dreams, and deal with her over the top little sister, Sandra. Some of Marisa's dreams start to come true when Derek not only notices her but ends up breaking up with her current girlfriend and asks Marisa out. They become an item. Does this end all of her problems? Not quite.
The story is told from Marisa's point of view and we hear her thoughts and agonizing as life begins to hand her some unexpected challenges. Marisa doesn't have a boatload of self-confidence and a lot of what she says and thinks will sound familiar. Why does Derek do the things he does? Can she trust him? It's a real struggle for her as she is beset with self-doubt and an aura of being a victim of her own life.
The other women in Marisa's life including her mother, her aunt and her best friend, all begin varying types of relationships with guys. What are they looking for in a partner? Is it all about how you look or is what's on the inside somewhat valuable as well? And how about in your own self?
At one point Marisa's depression returns and she sounds as though she has hit bottom. Where can you turn when you get here? Are you the only one who is living this life or would others relate to you and even lend a helping hand? The one person who seems to understand Marisa is a web "Dear Abby" guy who seems to connect to and relate to the problems of any and all of the teens who email him every night at 11:00p.m.
Interesting journey that Marisa takes from being afraid but filled with dreams and all talk and no action to a life that she takes responsibility for and steps into the action she's been waiting for. Ages 12-15 No sex. Some kissing. 336 pages B003BVK4IS
Recommended by: Barb