Savannah's finally met the guy of her dreams, but it seems like the world is conspiring against them. Savannah's asthma has her in and out of the hospital, and her mother's refusal to tell her bosses about it has their family in and out of poverty. Jackson's father died, and his mother expects him to give up his dreams of college and painting and be the man of the house. Just when they figure out a way to be together, Savannah's offered a semester away for gifted students - but can she leave Jackson now? Separately, the air closes in around them - together, they feel like they can breathe freely. Will their love survive if they're apart?
This is sort of written in dialect - they're Southern, so it's written in accents. It annoyed me at first (dialect usually does) but this really is a good book and I was eventually able to get over it. Dialect doesn't bother a lot of people, and I don't expect it to have any effect on a reader's enjoyment of the book - not everyone's a freak like me! It's got a nice strong family structure with Savannah and her mom and brother. Her mom also does a nice job of keeping Savannah close and giving her some freedom, which is especially impressive considering how fragile Savannah's health can be. Often a parent's impulse is to hold tighter rather than the opposite, but the mom lets Savannah live the life she can, which is refreshing.
I should also say that a lot of books revolving around teens having/being allowed to have more grownup relationships often make me roll my eyes. I know two couples who met in high school who are still together (and ended up married); the odds are hugely stacked against it. So usually when I find a book where the general mood or foreshadowing indicates that the author believes these characters will remain together, I find it impossible to believe. Something about Savannah and Jackson's story, however, made me believe that these two crazy kids might just have a chance to make it.
Older content: Savannah and Jackson attend a party where people are drinking, smoking pot and skinny dipping, but they don't do any of that. They do indulge in one session of heavy making out but nothing further than that.
Pub Date: April 16, 2009