Deb Caletti. I don’t know how she does it, but it’s like she can read my mind. I swear, she knows exactly how I feel, and then takes all those jumbled, mixed-up emotions, sorts them out, and turns them into something insightful and beautiful. And that’s what I always come away with from Caletti’s books—insight. Insight into my own life and into life in general. Her books are wonderful that way.
Cricket’s future stepsisters make it clear they’re not happy about the marriage. An old friend decides this is the week to declare his love for Cricket. Grandpa chooses to reveal a big secret at a family gathering. Dan’s ex-wife shows up. And even the dogs—Cricket’s old, ill Jupiter and Dan’s young, lively Cruiser—seem to be declaring war.
While Cricket fears that Dan is in danger of becoming ditched husband-to-be number three, she’s also alarmed by her own desires. Because even though her boyfriend looms large in her mind, Ash is right in front of her....
I actually didn’t know the plot of The Story of Us before I started reading it. I’m at that point where I pick up Caletti’s books without needing to know what they’re about. And she came through this time too. I think The Story of Us is her best book so far. It has this perfect blend of humor and serious issues, love and conflict, permanence and change. It’s just an all-around solid book.
And you know what surprised me about this book? That it wasn’t a swoony falling-in-love story but I liked it even more because of it. Romance is pretty much a requirement in a book if I’m going to like it, and there is romance in this story—it’s just not that butterflies-in-the-stomach, first love kind of romance. After all, Cricket and Janssen have been together for years, and Janssen isn’t even in the book except for one page at the end. It’s a deeper and more subtle romance as Cricket tries to sort out what she wants out of their relationship and out of the future. And can I just say, JANSSEN. That boy. He doesn’t even have to be in the story for more than the one page he is for it to be obvious that he’s everything that’s kind and good. Seriously, I’ll take him if Cricket doesn’t. And that hottie Ash isn’t too shabby either.
And I loved Cricket’s family. They’re funny and quirky without taking it too far and becoming caricatures. They feel real, and as I read along I felt more and more like I was part of their family—that I really knew them. How does that even happen? Talented authors, that’s how, I guess.
Overall, a solid contemporary YA. It’s a little on the slower and more reflective side, but I never felt like the story dragged at all. If you’ve read any of Caletti’s books before, you won’t be disappointed, and if you haven’t read them, I think this is a good place to start.
Rating: 4 / 5
Other Deb Caletti books I've reviewed:
-The Secret Life of Prince Charming
-Honey, Baby, Sweetheart