Ever since Sarah was born, she’s lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Scarlett. A budding astronomer, Sarah’s days are devoted to math club and the boy she’s loved since kindergarten, Tucker. Her nights are spent observing the vast universe through her Stargazer 5020.
Then Tucker breaks Sarah’s heart, and she goes to Cape Cod for the summer with her family, ready for something big in her life to change. She doesn’t want to live in the shadows anymore. She wants to be someone who shines. Someone like Scarlett.
She doesn’t expect to meet Andrew. Gorgeous college boy Andrew. Andrew pulls Sarah out from behind her telescope. He sees the girl she wants to be.
For Sarah, it’s a summer of firsts. A summer of blazing comets and shooting stars. Before she knows what’s happened, one little lie has transformed into something real. And by the end of August, she might have to choose between falling in love and finding herself.
This is a coming-of-age story about self-identity and self-discovery and I felt like there wasn’t enough character development in the book. When I reached the end of the book, I still wasn’t completely sure exactly what Sarah had figured out about herself, and I couldn’t see a clear journey from the start to finish. I thought that Sarah seemed a little bit juvenile in her thoughts, but her actions were very mature. At some parts of the book, the story felt a little bit pretentious, but that probably could have been because Sarah was pretending to be someone who she wasn’t. Overall, I just wasn’t in love with Sarah and it made it a bit difficult to really fall in love with her story.
The main message that I took away from the book was that you should be yourself because there are people who will love you for who you are (and the things that you love are what make you you). But I thought Sarah’s actions in the book weren’t very consistent with this message. She keeps up her lies all the way until the end of the book, and while I understand that it’s scary to admit to people that you’ve been lying to them, I felt like this was just completely incongruous with her discovery that people love the scientist in her and love her for who she really is. I also wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending – it felt a little bit rushed to me – but I can see other readers loving the way it ended.
Let’s talk about some of the characters. I’ve already mentioned that I didn’t connect with Sarah, but I really really liked Andrew. I thought he was sweet and charming and just the perfect love interest. I definitely was not a fan of Tucker. We don’t get to learn a lot about him, but he really annoyed me. His actions, to me, also seemed a little bit out of his character, based on the little that we do get to know about him. (To be honest, I’m just kind of sick of the YA trope where the protagonist has a bad break-up, or is burned by an ex, but they find someone new who is more perfect and helps them get over their issues.) I also didn’t like Sarah’s family. They were controlling and seemed to be very absent from her life, and I don’t feel like that was properly resolved in the book.
This has been a bit of a rambly review. I should have collected my thoughts before I wrote this… but overall, I enjoyed the relationship between Sarah and Andrew but I did think the overall message of the book was a bit weak. It lacked a bit of character development and there were a couple of things that I didn’t think were completely resolved. I would still recommend this to anyone who is looking for a summer romance read, and I know lots of other reviewers who thoroughly enjoyed this book.