Dessen has an articulate, engaging voice, and so it's hard to put her books down. Even when the subject matter is difficult (OK--a dead classmate and a teenage pregnancy? It should be downright depressing), her characters are fully formed, complex, and lovely. They're people you want to know, and so you want to stay with the book. Despite the subject matter, this book was not a bummer. It was sweet; a story of real friendship through difficult struggles. It did make me a little sad that I never had a "best friend," so to speak.