I loved this book. Loved it. Hands down, no question, loved loved loved it. I am wondering why I took so long to read it. It is also enigmatic, so in order to keep this review spoiler-free I'm basically going to tell you absolutely nothing about it.
While the premise is not the most original I've ever read or seen (in film), it is masterfully handled. The writing is funny, inventive, silly, clever. The truth is revealed inch by inch but not in a way that has you raving at the book to "just tell me already!" The plot does not drag or even lull. The ending is a surprise and not a surprise and a surprise.
The characters make this book:
Sloane, who is reserved, smart, loyal, devoted, wise, somewhat blinded to herself and others around her in terms of physical beauty, focused, sarcastic, generous, thoughtful, loving, introverted, everyone and no one all at once, and aware she is blessed but is not happy.
Maggie, who is fun, outgoing, clever, confident, self-aware but with a healthy dose of realism, perceptive, happy, funny, always in the moment, direct, honest, quick to forgive, wonderful to be around, generous and smart.
Andrew, who is funny, sly, sweet and caring in a I'm-not-letting-on-what-I-really-feel kind of way.
James, who is perfect.
Gordy, who is also perfect but in a way completely different than James.
Thomas, who is calculating and duplicitous.
Jade and Max, who are adorable, which may or may not be what they really are but what they are in this story.
And the parents, who are the people you'd expect in the situations they're in.
This book will pull all your emotions and ends without making you cry. It is a happy book while still being complicated with sad parts. It is one of those stories written by screenwriters which makes a much better book. If they choose to make this into a movie (or if they already have), I'm sure it could never encompass the range of emotion and feeling that the book evokes. It was refreshing and sweet and clever and wonderful.
Just read it. You'll see what I mean.