The Best Reader + TIME

Review: The Story of Us by Deb Caletti

The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
Publisher: Simon Pulse (April 24th, 2012)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 390 pages
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Cricket’s on a self-imposed break from her longtime boyfriend—but she’s picked a bad week to sort out her love life. For one thing, her mother’s romance is taking center stage: After jilting two previous fianc├ęs, her mom is finally marrying Dan Jax, whom Cricket loves. But as wedding attendees arrive for a week of festivities at a guesthouse whose hippie owners have a sweet, sexy son—Ash—complications arise: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…


Cricket is going through a lot of changes. Her and her long-term boyfriend are taking a break, her mom is getting married, and she has no idea where to go to college. There are so many changes at once that she really doesn't know how to handle it all.

The Story of Us is a serious book, but there are so many hilarious moments. Cricket's family has gathered with her mom's future-husband Dan's family for their wedding and it's a little like that movie Christmas Vacation. There are so many disasters happening around every corner. Cricket's worried about her mom taking off again before the wedding but she's also dealing with her own issues which include the cute guy Ash, her evil future step-sisters, and a house full of crazy, stressed out family members.

Cricket was a good character because she does truly love her family and worry about them — even her older brother. And while she is young, she still comes off as mature and wise. She wants what's best for her mom and that has become a big priority in her life. She has started to question her relationship with Janssen. They have been together forever but she just can't get over a few doubts. Although we don't really get to know Janssen first-hand, he is still very much included in the book. Cricket emails with him often and shares their history. This gives us a great chance to get to know him through her experiences and he was a fascinating character!

Ash is there, and he's hot, and he pays attention to Cricket. He has a bit of that dark, mysterious vibe going on and that really draws Cricket to him. She just has trouble finding out if that's real affection or her just latching on to something for comfort.

The plot was really what created such a well-rounded story in this book. Each character brought so much drama and fun. I think that everyone will find at least a few characters who remind them of a person in their own family. Some parts of the story lagged a bit for me, especially with a great deal of focus on the family dog. Not that I dislike dogs, I don't, but her emails with Janssen were mostly about the dog and I just wanted to know more about their relationship instead.

This book is a real coming-of-age story, involving a girl just trying to deal with the changes in her life. As with many young adults, change is scary and it can be difficult to let go of the security of a home, boyfriend, or friend. It's a time where a person takes a big leap of faith and that's exactly what Cricket had to learn to do. Deb Caletti truly knows how to target the mind of a teenager and dive into their dreams and fears.

Recommended: People looking for something cute and funny, but with a deeper meaning.

Website | Facebook

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

4 stars, book, Christmas, deb caletti, LIFE, review, Simon Pulse, The Story of Us, and more:

Relevant to: Review: The Story of Us by Deb Caletti + TIME