When a book that you read has a letter from the author at the front it usually does well to actually read that letter (I hope that they will put this letter in the finished copy, although I'm never sure) and when you see the word "sex" in that letter you know there are going to be very mixed reactions about what the story holds. I have never read a book by Lauren Myracle before (although I do own Shine) but based on the letter she wrote and the fact that she tackles subjects that are iffy made me very hopeful about liking her. What I found inside this book was a slightly modernized, more philosophical, and happily-ending version of Forever by Judy Blume. Myracle tackles first love, and sex, and doing what is best for YOU in this book, and as a whole I was pleased with how she handled everything. One of the things I liked the most was actually the fact that she wrote the book from a male AND female perspective, which I think was a smart idea that really helped the story an enormous amount. The writing was lyrical in some places and there were some rather deep ideas played with that, because of the way they were approached, fit really well with the story and the characters. That being said there were moments when I was slightly frustrated with the characters. I totally understand the fact that both characters are new to romantic relationships and this is their first time being in love but a few of their actions made me go "really?" Maybe that was part of the story though, because it's supposed to show the ups AND downs of first/teenage love, which I think it did quite nicely. One of my favorite parts of the book was actually the main character's best friends (both main characters who had different best friends), and I would love to see what happens to them, and at the same time what becomes of Charlie and Wren in the future, although I'm not sure that either of those things will happen. Hopefully this will be one of those books that turns into a classic, very much like Forever is, because I think there are a lot of things teenagers could learn from it that would be beneficial in today's day and age. In my opinion Myracle should keep writing books for teens, especially ones that push some boundaries and make some people uncomfortable, because in the end those are the ones that mean something and are read long after they have been published. I hope to be able to read the other novel of Myracle's that I own because I'm sure it will also be approached with just as much grace and talent, which is not something that can be said for every book.
Out August 27, 2013
4/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Amulet for providing me with an ARC in return for an honest review