Title: Sass & Serendipity
Author: Jennifer Ziegler
Publisher: Delacorte Press – Random House, Inc.
Release Date: July 12, 2011
Daphne Rivera and her sister, Gabby, could not be more different. For fifteen-year-old Daphne, the glass is always half full, a dab of lip gloss can ward off a bad day, and the boy of her dreams – the one she’s read about in all her beloved romance novels – is waiting for her just around the corner.
But Daphne’s older sister, Gabby, wishes she would get real. In Gabby’s world, everyone is out for themselves, wearing makeup is a waste of time, and boyd just distract you from studying before they break your heart. The only boy Gabby trusts is her best friend, Mule, who has always been there for her.
Both Gabby and Daphne are still reeling from their parents’ divorce, though in very different ways. While Gabby will never forgive her unreliable father for failing her mother, Daphne idolizes her daddy and is sure that everything would work out fine if her cranky mom would just let him back into their lives. When a crisis leaves the girls and their mom homeless, help comes from a surprising source, and both girls are courted by unlikely suitors who shake up their views of the world. Suddenly the glass isn’t so clearly half empty or half full … and love seems a lot more complicated than they ever could have imagined.
First things first: the cover. I liked how the simple shot could convey so much. The two girls’ stances make it clear which is the bubbly, restless one and which is the confidant, face-the-facts girl. It makes it seem as though it’s them against the world, and within the book, each does believe that it’s them against the world. The premise of the book was figuring out that the world gave them a teammate. I liked how this was shown through even the chapter title – I had no idea that so many words had “sis” in them. It was creative, and definitely artistic. It added value and worth to the content of the book, but it also emphasized certain aspects of each girls’ character.
And the romance aspect of the book was great. It wasn’t steamy or very physical – it was more contemporary in the fact that it took place in a high school with normal bullies and pressures and parties, but also dealt with the realities of some financial situations. Combined with the journey to find the meaning of love, the book really made some unexpected turns. The boyfriends at the end were definitely not who I thought they would be in the beginning. Also, the growing up that the girls did while their mom was away? Huge. I loved how through all the arguments (and it was pretty much every other page!) each girl grew a little, learned a little, and even though it might have seemed as though they took two steps back, they slowly realized the true worth of a sister and the privilege of having one.
The story was touching, and I adored all the characters. The backstories on all of them were amazingly well-written, and every new detail that was revealed caused a different prediction for the book to run through my mind. I was never completely sure about anything, and that’s pretty much how it is in life. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to read a contemporary that will make you cry, laugh, and scold the characters in turn.
**There were a few instances of language, but nothing too terrible.