(May 17, 2007)
*there's one of those 'waterproof covers' ones, too
Nina, Avery and Mel have been best friends since they were little kids but now it's the summer before their senior year and Nina's going off across the country to Stanford for a leadership workshop while Avery and Mel stay home in New York and work as waitresses and the new Irish restaurant.
The girls are worried about the separation but things are fine--even more so for Nina when she meets Steve, the bike riding, planet saving guy who living just down the hall. Nina quickly becomes wrapped up in Steve for what little time they have left (he lives in California, she in NY) but they promise a long distance relationship.
All the while, Johnson continues to tell of the other two girls' summer on the other side of the country. The three girls communicate through emails (and maybe text messages or IMs but I've forgotten for sure) but it's clear to Nina when she returns that Avery and Mel are keeping something from her. What is it? Well, as the back of the book says: "While Nina was gone, Mel has her first real kiss. With Avery."
I think this book does an excellent job of giving each girl her own distinct personality, but also making it clear why they have been friends for so long (in other words, between the girls, the relationships make sense). I also liked that this book had two girls in a sexual relationship but it wasn't a book written just to do that, instead that was a part of the story. It also dealt with there being ramifications from that relationship and for the characters in general.
I loved the evolution of this story and how just about everything made perfect sense and went with everything else.
(fyi: I don't mean Mel & Avery in the paragraph below.) I say just about everything because I seem to have a bit of a problem with how Maureen Johnson decides to 'do' or I guess write certain relationships. She'll write two characters in such a way that you're sure she could write them into a perfect relationship....but then she doesn't. So, I guess that just takes a way from me loving it a little bit because everything else makes so much sense to me and then not really.
Other than that problem though (which really could just be my personal preference and not actually what's better for the characters ;)) I really, really enjoyed this book. 9/10
**I think I've also changed it so you can leave comments without an account...I think**