Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Rebecca Maizel
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Sarah is the happiest she has ever been when her boyfriend dumps her for the popular girl. With a broken heart, she goes to Cape Cod and decides to start an experiment that she hopes will make her popular. Sarah begins to act like her older sister, Scarlett, and soon makes lots of friends. She is noticed by Andrew, a very attractive college boy, and finds herself trapped in an intricate web of lies she spins just to be accepted and loved. Scarlett discovers what her sister is doing and tells Sarah to be honest about who she really is. Even though its heartbreaking, Sarah leaves Andrew behind to discover who she really is. However, maybe Sarah will have another chance next year to be with Andrew again.
Maizel tells a wonderful story of self discovery, honesty, and acceptance. Sarah's journey of becoming herself is not only moving, but heartbreaking. The things she loses by the end because of her choices and deciding to lie to everyone teaches an important lesson of being honest no matter what. The chapter that takes place a year later shows the real changes Sarah has made. The author develops Sarah's character well by showing her mature as she discovers who she really is. Sarah's story will relate to many teens as she struggles to stand out and be herself. Unfortunately, the underage sexual promiscuity seems a bit glorified and ultimately distracts from the overall story. This story is well-written with a great message of becoming your true self, but perhaps should be read by an older audience.
*Contains severe language, severe sexual content, and mild violence.