Read The Visibles by Sara Shepard Online


The only piece of information that Summer Davis takes away from her years at Peninsula Upper School -- one of the finest in the Brooklyn Heights-to-Park Slope radius, to quote the promotional materials -- is the concept that DNA defines who we are and forever ties us to our relatives. A loner by circumstance, a social outcast by nature, and a witty and warm narrator of herThe only piece of information that Summer Davis takes away from her years at Peninsula Upper School -- one of the finest in the Brooklyn Heights-to-Park Slope radius, to quote the promotional materials -- is the concept that DNA defines who we are and forever ties us to our relatives. A loner by circumstance, a social outcast by nature, and a witty and warm narrator of her own unimaginable chaos by happenstance, Summer hangs on to her interest in genetics like a life raft, in an adolescence marked by absence: her beautiful, aloof mother abandons the family without a trace; her father descends into mental illness, haunted by a lifelong burning secret and abetted by a series of letters that he writes to make sense of his feelings; her best friend Claire drifts out of Summer's life in a breeze of indifference, feigned on both sides; and her older brother fluctuates between irrational fury and unpredictable tenderness in an inaccessible world of his making. Uncertain of her path and unbalanced by conflicting impulses toward hope and escape, Summer stays close to her father while attending college, taking him to electro-shock therapy treatments and trying to make sense of his inscrutable past. Upon his departure for a new and possibly recovered life, Summer begins to question the role of genetics and whether she is destined to live out her family's legacy of despair. But it is only when Summer decides to leave New York herself and put off a promising science career to take care of her great-aunt Stella -- bedrock of the family and bastion of folksy wisdom, irreverent insight, and Sinatra memorabilia in a less-than-scenic part of the Pennsylvanian countryside -- that Summer begins to learn that her biography doesn't have to define her...and that her future, like her DNA, belongs to her alone.In a novel consumed by the uncertainties of science, the flaws of our parents, and enough loss and longing to line a highway, Sara Shepard is a penetrating chronicler of the adolescence we all carry into adulthood: how what happens to you as a kid never leaves you, how the fallibility of your parents can make you stronger, and how being right isn't as important as being wise. From the backwoods of Pennsylvania to the brownstones of Brooklyn Heights, "The Visibles" investigates the secrets of the past, and the hidden corners of our own hearts, to find out whether real happiness is a gift or a choice....

Title : The Visibles
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781416597360
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 323 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Visibles Reviews

  • hayden
    2018-11-10 10:30

    After much consideration, I've decided Sara Shepard should stick to what she knows best, which is young adult fiction.This is how I felt during the whole thing:The Visibles, her first effort in the adult fiction world, starts off shakily with a confusing-as-F preface/prologue/introduction that doesn't seem to add anything to the story. The first few chapters delve into Summer's life and provide unneccessary backstory. The Visibles is one of those adult novels I cower away from, the ones where everything seems to be totally unrelated to everything else until the very end. I wanted to put the book down so many times during the read because I everything was just so darned confusing. That fact alone is probably what killed the reading experience for me. If I would've known to piece everything together bit by bit, I would've enjoyed it more.It's one of those books that really makes you think and isn't something you just read, like her PLL series. Because I was so used to her Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game series writing style, I wasn't prepared going into The Visibles.The Visibles overall wasn't my cup of tea: it was confusing, confusing, and confusing.But, Hayden! Wait! Why are there TWO stars if all you've done so far is criticize?Good question, guys! The story in The Visibles is what redeems the second star: it's heartbreaking, poignant, and deserving of five stars if everything else wasn't so screwed up.

  • Mindy
    2018-10-29 12:12

    I read an Advanced Copy of The Visibles and absolutely loved it!The author has the ability to combine humor, wisdom and sadness in a refreshing and straightforward voice. I could not put the book down, and after finishing, read it again just to see what I might have missed!I'm looking forward to all future books by this author. I'm sure she'll become one of my favorites!

  • Alex
    2018-10-24 08:21

    The snow globe incident. The snow globe incident. THE SNOW GLOBE INCIDENT. This book should have been called The Visibles: THE SNOW GLOBE INCIDENT OMFG for how often the snow globe incident was mentioned. SPOILER ALERT: SOMETHING HAPPENS WITH A SNOW GLOBE. And when you find out it will not be as monumental as the author hoped!We meet Summer Davis, our heroine... or something, because I'm not sure she is heroic, but Summer Davis is our narrator at any rate. That rate is soul crushingly slow and worthy of beating one's head against the desk. The story largely revolves around Summer's relationship with her father after her mother abandons them, his depression, and whether or not DNA plays a part in her family's very torrid history. Or something. The thing is, the plot is so heavy and full of odd plot devices and points that I'm not sure entirely matter. There is some stuff about science and DNA. There is some stuff about her father's depression, her guilt over taking care of him, her resentment over taking care him, her NEED to take care of him, there is the fact that her father has a secret... When Summer learns about that secret it's not at all moving. It's not shocking. It's just a flash in the pan, really. There is the fact that Summer Davis IS THE BIGGEST SAD SACK THAT EVER EXISTED OH JEEZ, there is her kooky Aunt Stella, there is the reckoning of all these things supposedly coming together: her mother's abandonment, her father's depression, his secret, her obsession with DNA and things happening for a reason, her family history, her inability to let go... I... it... I don't even know how to write a review about this book because I'm not even sure what happens. I mean, stuff happens, and it's all clear, you know, but at the same time it isn't clear and stuff doesn't happen and DSLKGHSLKHYOIRH. IT JUST DOESN'T OKAY??Towards the end I start to wonder if the main character is not really her father, as he is the only main character that has any sort of resolution. We meet Summer's brother and cousin and friend, and they are resolved, certainly. We see them change, but they are hardly secondary characters. They exist only to tell us more about Summer and what they tell us is what we already know: SUMMER IS THE SADDEST SACK OF SADNESS. Shepard writes beautifully. She constructs wonderfully choreographed sentences and has a keen awareness of how to involve emotion into dialogue and surroundings. What she does not do is makes sense of a plot that is so over burdened with wanting to be poignant that is becomes a giant, sloppy mess. The book ends. It simply... ends.

  • rachel • typed truths
    2018-11-09 12:07

    DNF 26%I know, I promised I wouldn't DNF any more book this year but I honestly cannot read another word of this. I would maybe pick it up at a later date, to try and finish it, but its a library book that's due back soon and I honestly just cannot be bothered. The writing is nonsensical for one matter. I can barely follow what is happening. It switches from present day events to flashbacks / memory-like scenes with no pause. You have no idea what point of timeline you currently reading about. Also, the prologue made no sense. It was written in second person POV - something I have never read before - and had literally no relevance to the next 25% of the book. It wasn't even the same person narrating - its the protagonist's father... what? The rest of the book just pissed me off. Summer was a terrible friend. She said that her friend's fatness caused her stupidity... I'm sorry but what? How can anyone even think that...? Her brother, Steven, was also incredibly racist and wouldn't even let her talk to a perfectly nice boy from down the road because he was Indian and his father wore a turban. I don't want to read about characters like that. I just cannot support that sort of crap. Overall, this book was incredibly slow, pointless and lacked a decent cast. Not impressed. I cannot be bothered dealing with it anymore. Not for me.

  • Darla
    2018-10-22 16:27

    Thought provoking, sad, complex. I liked that she didn't settle for an easy resolution although I wanted to scream at some of choices that Summer made. The mystery behind her father's mental breakdown and the way it is developed in the story adds another layer of intrigue.

  • Haley Johnson
    2018-11-06 08:34

    As much as I LOVE Sara Shepard and her books, I couldn't get into this one. The beginning was so confusing and I was so lost. I can relate to Sumner and appreciated what she did for and had to go through with her father and Stella.

  • Jennifer
    2018-11-16 08:33

    I had higher hopes because I loved the PLL books so much but I should have just re-read them instead. Summer is such an annoying character, the book is all over the place without any resolution for anyone except the dad... her writing is still really good but the plot.... ugh.

  • Diane
    2018-11-16 15:08

    Sara Shepard’s novel The Visibles: A Novel is the type of story I generally love. It is a bit of a coming of age novel about a girl from a dysfunctional family. The novel is about a young girl named Summer Davis whose mother has abandoned the family. If that isn’t tough enough for a young girl, there is also Summer’s father who suffers from mental illness and an older brother seemingly in denial of it all. The theme of family, loss, and how family background and situations affects each of us deeply is prevalent throughout this story.A substitute teacher in Summer's Biology class gives a talk on DNA. He tell the class that DNA is all that matters: whether you are sick, smart, stupid, what you look like, how you think, everything about your past and everything about your future. He adds that you cannot escape your parents, and that you are tethered to them for life because of your DNA. While the rest of the class makes jokes about what the teacher has said, Summer becomes obsessed with the Biology teacher's lecture.The Visibles: A Novel is told from the first person, Summer's perspective, and although I enjoyed the story, I had a bit of a problem relating to Summer's attitude in general. Although the story jumps around a bit, as it progresses clues are revealed that made me want to read more. The story reaffirmed how there are often questions left unanswered, pieces of our parents lives that we might never know that affects the person we are today. There was also some fascinating symbolism in this story, specifically about the Twin Towers before and after 9/11 and how it relates to Summer's life.I was happy I decided to review this book for the Amazon Vine program. I thought this coming of age story was well done.

  • Anke
    2018-10-17 14:21

    Hm.I got this book at a book swap event where there was very little choice, so I gave Sara Shepard another chance even though I pretty much detested "Pretty Little Liars" in all its commercial, formulaic, glory.Now I was in bed, recovering from a cold, and it seemed a good moment to start it. And then I read it in one go - so it seems rather well-written because I found it hard to put down. And yet there is something about it that left me dissatisfied and grumpy.Reading it was oddly upsetting - everyone in the book is unhappy, or that's what the main narrator thinks, and you read along and it never gets any better and you want to sit the narrator down and give her a cup of hot milk and explain her a few things. She gets very hung up on small events, and you often don't fully understand why - and then there's a dénouement but it leaves you thinking that there actually wasn't a nœud in the first place. I couldn't figure out whether this was clever and you were supposed to come to the conclusion that Miss Narrator (I just finished this and already forgot her name) finally figures out that she spent her life worried about stuff that was no big deal, or that she was so severely traumatized by her messed-up family that she couldn't be any different (even though her brother could), or whether the author didn't really know what she was doing with the story. A happy ending wouldn't have fit the book, but it could have been a wee bit more promising for me than it actually was. The narrator is very self-centered and guarded in her approach to life and people and the world, and so the ending was rather I guess this is as good as it gets-ish - but in my post-viral mood, that wasn't quite enough for me.

  • Sibyl
    2018-10-31 15:11

    The Visibles is not a page turner and my life is complicated at the moment. I really needed to be reading a page turner. But I could not keep the narrating character, Summer, out of my thoughts. Summer's mother never is brought into the novel with a physical presence, but she is a force with which Summer has to reckon. What her issues were that led her to abandon her family and disappear are not explained. Summer is left to hold her father and brother together as a family while trying to find her own way. Confusing first person letters are interspersed throughout, not written in Summer's voice, and it is unclear for nearly half the novel who the writer of these letters is. When the writer is revealed, the story takes on a deeper psychological impact with unexpected layers leading to exceedingly believable but completely unforeseen events. My advice to readers is just hang in there because it gets better and better. It took me three weeks to complete it when my usual read is two or three days (unless it is a biography or other nonfiction work).

  • Sierra W.
    2018-11-09 14:29

    I absolutely love Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game series by Sarah Shepard so I decided to give The Visibles a try. As much as I wanted to like the book, I could not get into it. Summer (the main character) was boring and the book was choppy. I didn't feel any real emotion towards any of the characters. I have a bad habit of wanting to finish bad books because I have already started them and this one was no exception. I had to struggle to finish it and I was relived when I realized that I didn't have to pick this book up again. I'll stick to Shapard's YA Fiction from now on.

  • Ken Kugler
    2018-11-08 14:32

    I was truly disappointed with this book. Have you ever read a book that kept feeling like it was going to take off and never did? That is what happened with this one. I kept reading until about page 150 pages. I then decided I would stop and not continue. I skipped to the end to see if anything changed and nothing did. Oh well, they cannot all be good books

  • Kaity
    2018-11-05 08:31

    This was really slow for me. It never had a huge climax in the middle. The characters could have been better developed since I felt like they were pretty two dimensional.

  • Nina
    2018-11-10 12:18

    a little depressing but the feelings are all real and credible

  • Luke
    2018-11-15 16:19

    I don't know why, but I didn't like All the Things We Didn't Say.

  • Susanne
    2018-11-08 16:06

    I have to admit that I found this book truly disturbing and depressing. Despite saying this I couldn't put this book down - it was truly captivating.

  • Kelly
    2018-10-24 08:34

    i didn't finish this was horrible!

  • Bev Taylor
    2018-10-31 09:18

    also known as the visibles all families have secrets but this is one that could destroy everything a tragic car crash after a perty and a girl is killed fast forward and meet summer who's father works in medical science and a mother who has left home - although she is not advised that at the time she is convinced that our genes define who we r and as her story unfolds it becomes clear how families and friends can shape u and how being right is not as important as being wise. also u may think keeping secrets is a form of protection but usually it has the opposite effect to be honest this one left me cold. i could not relate to any of the characters - apart from stella - and just felt like shaking them and telling them to grow up also very confusing at the beginning as chapters were told by different people which u were not immediately aware of - all first person. were they a girl or a boy? gay or lesbian ? sorry .... bev

  • Abby
    2018-11-11 12:31

    Different and TouchingThis novel is very different from Sara Shepard's other novels (I have read every single one!). It is more realistic and more deeply emotional. It is a wonderful read I would recommend for adults. Sara Shepard never disappoints. Let's be real! The character depth of this novel is good. I enjoyed how real they are. There is also the underlying mystery that seems to weave through all of her novels. It adds so much to this book! You do have to pay close attention to the shifts in narration to not be confused. Overall, good read!

  • Katlyn Webb
    2018-10-24 10:07

    Even though this is by far her most boring book and I didn't know if I could make it through it, I found this her deepest, most compelling novel. I did not know she was capable of writing a novel like this that touched on many personal and family issues and more. She is one of my favorite authors and this book made me respect her even more.

  • Karen Kirkham
    2018-10-16 15:20

    So wanted to enjoy this book as a fan of pretty little liars , tried my hardest but couldn't get into it and gave up reading book after chapter 3.

  • Donna
    2018-10-18 15:25

    Yaaaaawn!!! Slow holiday read. Not much else to say really.

  • shreya
    2018-11-10 15:11

    DNF at 25%

  • Carla
    2018-11-14 10:14

    I had a hard time reading this book because it was so depressing. But I stopped and then continued later and I guess the second half was the more uplifting part (or after reading Everything I Never Told You, this just didn't seem so depressing anymore!) Well written with realistic characters. I would never have expected something this deep and well written from the author of Pretty Little Liars. From Booklist:Summer Davis, a withdrawn, sensitive adolescent, is devastated when her mother suddenly abandons their family one New York City winter. Shortly thereafter, Summer latches onto a substitute teacher’s biology lesson about DNA and how its genetic code not only defines the self but also acts as the eternal, enigmatic tether to family. This propels Summer’s enduring pursuit to uncover and scientifically explain the flaws and mystery surrounding her family’s hereditary makeup, an evolution that is further complicated when her father, tormented by a lifelong secret, becomes crippled by mental illness, and her older brother indifferently flees to San Francisco. Summer’s calculated plans shift, however, when she postpones her graduate studies and returns to her father’s hometown in rural Pennsylvania to care for her great-aunt Stella, the family matriarch who imparts upon Summer a divergent insight into heritage and relationships. Shepard is the accomplished author of the young adult Pretty Little Liars series, and her foray into adult fiction shines in this boldly tender tale of personal discovery, redemption, and the complicated bonds of family.

  • Marnie Kaplan
    2018-10-17 08:09

    I have always been able to pick up a book, read the first few pages, and know if I will enjoy the book. I read the first few pages of the Visibles and was enthralled. I considered buying it immediately, but was in a hurry to jump on a bus to NYC. Luckily, I recently got it from the library.The book is complicated. It isn't a happy story per say, although I suppose the characters end up better off than they started. But it is a book that tackles a lot of unhappy topics: depression, abandonment, fear of loss, the way a secret eats you up on the inside, terminal cancer, the dissolution of a marriage. I have friends who prefer to only read about happy topics. I am not that type of reader.At the heart of it, the Visibles is a coming of age story. The narrator begins the novel, a sophomore in a Brooklyn private school, dealing with the fact that her mother has mysteriously left the family, her father struggles with mental illness, and her brother doesn't have all that much to say to her. The one friend she previously felt close to has returned from a year in France, and Summer wants nothing to do with her. She still can't get over the fact that Claire didn't include her enough during Summer's freshman year (and Claire's sophomore year). Genetics becomes Summer's raft - a way for her to make sense of her own life, a world for her to lose herself inside. We watch Summer grow, attending NYU, studying biology, and still staying in Brooklyn to take care of her father as his mental health worsens. The story also contains a series of letters written by Summer's father, a doctor who struggles with severe depression and is still trying to overcome a defining moment from his own adolescence. The novel raises a great deal of questions about what individuals are possible of overcoming. I love pondering how much of adolescence remains with a person. Can we ever outgrow the awkward version of ourselves we were at fifteen or seventeen? Is that the truest version of ourselves?This is yet another dysfunctional family novel. And thus, I loved it. It is also such a well-crafted story. The language is evocative and powerful. As a former New Yorker, I loved the depictions of NYC and Brooklyn. I loved this book. The language. The story. It was at times heart-breaking and sad. I wanted to reach into Summer's life and make so much better for her. I wanted to hunt down her lost mother and shake her by the neck declaring: "What is wrong with you? Do you not care about your children at all?" At times, I was angry at her father too, for wallowing so much, and not being the father Summer remembered from childhood, or the strong father she needed to guide her forward. And yet, I realize how true these types of individuals are. I realize that mental illness is a powerful thing that changes someone and often renders them powerless. Life is filled with flawed people. And Shepard captures them in such a realistic way. It's hard not to feel for Summer -- someone who thinks so deeply, feels so deeply, and wants so deeply to find the answers to the mysteries of her own life. It's hard also not to connect deeply with her. With the feeling of needing something more to believe in, something that complains all the strange complexities of every unique family. I really applaud Shepard for what she created in this novel and can't wait to read her future works.

  • Sarah - Six Blue Marbles
    2018-11-14 08:32

    I remember when this book came out and I wanted to read it so badly because it sounded like a book with an in-depth story that I had never read before. I mean, look at that synopsis, it’s huge!Of course I didn’t get it right away. For some reason when I find a book I really want to read it usually takes me a few years to actually find it. Luckily it was in my library catalogue (I should probably check there before the bookstores) and after many years finally read it.Well, I wasn’t completely disappointed.The Visibles really is an amazing story with a realistic look at mental illness and more importantly what it’s like to live with someone with mental illness, the worries one experiences, the stress, and the guilt. Summer’s father’s struggle with mental illness is sadly real and as a reader I found myself wishing and hoping for some fake, cheap Hollywood ending where Summer’s father was cured, her mother returned, and the whole family reunited happily ever after. Heck it would have annoyed me if that actually happened, but I hated reading about how much Summer’s father struggled. And while I didn’t get my Hollywood ending, this ending was acceptable, realistic, and truthful. It was nice to read an ending to a book that could actually happen in life.Summer’s story kind of bothered me a bit. I empathize with her and understand the stress she was going through as well as her other emotions but I never understood whether or not Summer was also suffering from mental illness. There were many hints in the book that she might have mental illness but nothing was ever solidified. Further more if she did have mental illness nothing was ever done to help it (talking to a therapist, medication, etc.). Considering Summer worried so much about mental illness and showed signs of it it would have been nice if Shepard had expanded a bit more on Summer’s character in that aspect.The “mystery” as to what could have caused/triggered Summer’s father’s mental illness was predictable, and it’s twist ending was highly unrealistic. I mean, maybe I just thought it was predictable, but after reading the first chapter online all those years ago I knew what the big mystery was (Two words, one small one large. It was pretty obvious to me but then again I’ve had six years to mull over what those words could mean. I was right though.). I could have handled the “mystery” in the book without the small “twist” but the twist took away any interest I had in it and compared to the book as a whole that is realistic the ending seemed rushed and mashed together.I did however like the timeline of the book since it spanned from ten years and different stages in Summer’s life. It was interesting to see the subtle and not so subtle changes in Summer’s life as she grew older as well as how she grew as a character. Shepard did an excellent job of developing Summer so she sounded the same yet different as she grew older in each section.Overall The Visibles is an excellent book about mental illness while also showing the effects mental illness has on families. A must read for books trying to break the stigma of mental illness.

  • Cyndy Aleo
    2018-10-21 13:29

    Young adult novelist Sara Shepard made the jump to adult fiction with her novel The Visibles, a story about a girl named Summer Davis whose life is overtaken by her father's mental illness.::: The Story :::When The Visibles opens, Summer is a teenager. Her mother abandons the family, which includes Summer, her father, and her older brother, and leaves all her belongings in the apartment. Not long after Summer's mother's disappearance--which both Summer and her father explain as an extended trip rather than abandonment--the first bombing attempt on the World Trade Center takes place, and Summer's brother becomes obsessed with foreigners and joining the Marines.Summer and family leave New York to attend the funeral of her father's mother, and she learns there may be more to her father's recurring depression than she'd thought. Instead of getting answers, however, she's left with more questions, and a seemingly requited crush on her grandmother's half-Sikh neighbor, to the horror of her xenophobic brother.As summer grows up, she sacrifices more and more of her life as her father's mental illness grows steadily more debilitating, and her brother leaves to escape the oppression. After multiple hospitalizations, her father begins to put his life back together and Summer continues her caretaker role by shifting to her father's aunt while she tries to figure out how to separate her life, and the newly revealed family secrets, from her father's past.::: Still Feels Like YA :::It could be due to the age Summer is when we meet her, but The Visibles feels more like a YA novel that let its protagonist age out of the genre than an actual adult novel. Even once she's aged to an "adult," Summer's character feels more like an angsty teen, lacking even the preternaturally adult status of some of the current crop of YA heroines. Even the conceit of the mother vanishing without a trace (quitting her job, leaving all her clothing behind) feels like the typical YA set-up.That being said, however, The Visibles does a great job of conveying the impact that serious mental illness can have on a family, from divorce to children being forced into caretaker roles for their parents before they are even capable of caring for themselves.Summer's brother's obsession with the first World Trade Center bombing feels contrived, however, and while it seems like it would be an obvious set-up for the later events of September 11, when the novel comes full-circle, that section falls flat. I'm often frustrated when I read a story that takes place over that time period that doesn't address the events, but in this case, the build-up was more disappointing.Overall, The Visibles would have been more enjoyable had it stuck to one genre and stayed there, instead of trying to straddle two and doing a mediocre job in each.This review originally published on Epinions:

  • Lindsay Heller
    2018-10-25 08:15

    At times this was the weirdest book, at other times it was great, but afterwards I found it rather forgettable. I read this on vacation and sped through it quickly. But, being on vacation and all, I didn't review it right away and when it came time to do so I found it a bit difficult to recall what this story was about. Summer Davis is growing up in Brooklyn when her mother up and leaves her family and mentally ill husband. From there the story moves through time, skipping years and changing locations as often as chapters. From New York City to rural Western Pennsylvania to Annapolis and Washington D.C. Summer grows up but never leaves her demons behind. Paralyzed between her own stagnating fears and her sense of duty in taking care of her depressed father Summer prevents herself from ever taking risks or changing. She longs to live outside herself, sometimes not responding to her own name and other times running away from opportunity, but never seems willing to actually take the risk in order to change her life. I think that Summer's story is probably familiar. Changing is difficult and it's tempting to allow life to flow by without becoming too engaged. But, reading this sort of passivity was maddening. Too many times I wanted to take her by the shoulders and tell her to do something. Anything. Even when spectacular opportunities are presented she drags her feet until it passes her by. And when she doesn't feel needed by her father she runs to her Great Aunt who's dying of cancer. Summer's life revolves around taking care of those who need her and when she runs out of those she seems adrift. It was a quiet book, a frustrating one, but it was effective for what I felt the author was trying to accomplish. Sara Shepard, the author, is the writer of Young Adult fiction series such as 'Pretty Little Liars' and 'The Lying Game'. I watch both of the television series based on these books and like them both (slightly addicted to 'Pretty Little Liars'). I don't read the books and if I ever do it will be when the shows are off the air. This is Shepard's first attempt at adult fiction and it's a commendable effort. Clearly she can write and clearly she understand the complications of growing up and dealing with mental illness. So why didn't this story stick with me? I'm not sure. It was fast paced but not exciting. It was relatable but not likable. Maybe I just recognized too much of myself in Summer.

  • Anais
    2018-11-10 10:34

    I read this book around 3 years ago and the story has still stuck with me.I was a fan of Shepard's PLL series (which I read before it rose to fame by the tv series) so when I heard she had something different coming out I rushed at the chance.What I got was a book that ended up helping me in ways I didn't even realize I needed. To add to the summary blurb at the top Summer has to endure the heartache that is a family falling apart, all on her own. Her other family members are never really present enough to help her through this tough time so she ends up becoming emotionally stilted in her adult life. At a first glance this book may seem like the coming of age story on how to deal with your crazy family, but it proves you wrong because right between the pages is a whole other story being told.That was what really made me like this book. It wasn't just one story, it was two weaved together through time. Both seemingly unrelated, but in the final chapters they join forces to reveal a beautifully poignant closing that allows Summer, along with the reader, the help needed in moving past something.I'll go back to why I loved this book so much.I myself am a child of divorce and a broken family. At the time of reading this book, I had decided that I accepted the cards I'd been dealt and would be able to move on from the situations at home. I was sad yes, but I was moving on from it. And then I read this story, and I connected with Summer on the loss she felt, and the stories we kids tell ourselves to make things not seem as bad. It made me realize that I was actively trying to convince myself that I was completely fine, when I hadn't really dealt with it. In a way, this book was there for me during this time, in a way that my other family members, or friends who didn't understand, couldn't be. And I in return felt like I was there for Summer, and her father, and even the lost characters in between.Okay, so basically, this book means a lot to me. Shepard isn't my favorite author, but I really thank her for writing this book and opening my eyes to another part of myself.