I have never been disappointed with a Sarah Dessen book, and this one is no exception. :)
I loved watching McLean grow. She starts out not knowing who she is anymore. Which, given that her entire life is in upheaval after a very scandalous, and very public, divorce, makes perfect sense. She's trying to find herself again, which involves reinventing herself at each school she attends when she moves around with her dad.
But this place, with people who don't really give her a chance to create someone, she is forced to be herself, to remember where it is she comes from and what it is she stands for. Not only does she make friends, where she has been avoiding as much personal connection as possible, but she also brings people together who may never have found each other without her.
Sarah Dessen creates a world that I found myself wandering in, sometimes feeling lost with McLean, sometimes feeling loved with her, sometimes feeling broken right along with her. Sometimes you don't really know what you have until it's nearly too late. But, if you're still breathing, it's never too late.