So there I was, lying in bed reading this book when I suddenly started hearing angry, loud & expletive-riddled yelling through my open window. And I literally thought to myself for a second, who would be behaving like that in Sycamore Falls? It took me another moment or two to remember that Sycamore Falls existed in my book and I had never even lived in a small town. No, I was smack dab in the middle of Washington, DC, where I've lived for almost a decade.
I had been so transported to this small town that the reality of Washington, DC had completely fallen away from me.
That's the mark of a good book. One that can transport you to another time or place.
But that's not all this book had going for it. Oh no. There was Lucas. Oh Lucas.
Has there ever been a more patient, loving, supportive, protective, adoring man? I challenge you to find me one! Anyway, all you need to know is he is all of these things, and amazing, and everyone should find themselves a Lucas.
Were Lucas and Sarah sometimes sickeningly sweet? Yes. And I loved every second of it!
Now to get to the heavier stuff. Playing out against Lucas and Sarah's romance was a lot of drama. They are both teachers, having moved to Sycamore Falls after leaving previous teaching jobs in big cities for different "scandals." SPOILER Sarah witnessed the school shooting of a gay student and Lucas had been accused by a student of getting her pregnant. They move to this small town hoping to start over, but small towns aren't immune to similar events.
What's interesting about this book was that it was set in a high school, but was from the POV of adults (teachers) rather than students. So the events of the high school "drama" play out from a different perspective than one would usually see. And it deals with some pretty big issues - bullying and homosexuality. And I think it does a really good job of conveying so much of that and teaching a lesson, but without ever seeming preachy, because it always remains a story more than anything. And that's where it's success lies. Did I agree with the opinions of most of the characters in the book? No. Not even Lucas and Sarah 100% of the time. But the message of the book raised the discourse above the right or wrong of something like homosexuality to just the importance of treating everyone with respect and kindness regardless of race or sexual orientation.
Now for what kept this from being a full 5 stars. While I felt like I was presented with a realistic depiction of life in a small town, I didn't think Lucas should have fitted within that mold as much as he did. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED him. But I would expect someone who was raised in NYC to be a little more "worldly."
The other thing was that Sarah was a bit of a watering can. She seemed to cry through half the book. Not that she didn't have cause to be emotional, but I after a while I was wondering why Lucas would stick around with someone who was clearly having some issues. But that's also what made Lucas so amazing so it's a bit of a wash. ;)
Overall, awesome-sauce and I will be looking for Ms. Logan's other books.