Genre: Realistic Fiction/Romance
# of Pages: 322 p.
Marisa and Sterling are two best friends who are determined to begin this new school year right. They set goals for making friends, getting boyfriends, and succeeding in school. Marisa is a little apprehensive about this year because the previous year she was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and depression. She feels she has recovered, but always worries those lonely feelings will come back. She also desperately wants to date Derek, the popular boy in school, which is why she shuns the romantic advances of her male best friend, Nash. To top everything off, Marisa learns her parents are going to get divorced. Basically, nothing goes exactly as she and Sterling planned and Marisa wonders if she can handle so many unexpected obstacles in her life. The only person who seems able to understand her is this mystery DJ Dirty Dirk, who broadcasts an anonymous show every night. Will she be strong enough to ask for help if she needs it?
Marisa’s difficulty with depression is handled very accurately in this story as she struggles to make it day to day without feeling hopeless and alone. Even though she knows she has a lot to be grateful for, she can’t seem to make herself feel that way on her own. Jealousy, anger, and confusion are all a part of Marisa’s life, which most teenagers can probably relate to. As she tries to make sense of those around her she realizes that she does not have to have all of the answers at once, but just needs to keep trying to reach her goals. Fans of Sarah Dessen will enjoy this one.