Molly, on the other hand, becomes less critical of herself and moves out from under her sister's shadow. She begins pushing herself through the awkward situations she would usually avoid, with mostly positive outcomes.
I really liked her coworker Reid. A bit of a nerd, who loves Tolkien and Game of Thrones! Molly finds it easy to talk to him almost immediately, but dismisses him as a love interest for the same judgmental and inaccurate reasons she thinks people do not consider her romantically.
So, while I disliked the first half of the novel, the second half had me laughing, crying, and pumping my fists triumphantly (for Molly, for Reid, for her moms, and even a little bit for Cassie). Molly's growth throughout the novel really impressed me, and it was at the point when she finally looked at herself in the mirror and saw she was beautiful, that I knew I loved this character and could easily connect with her. Everyone has insecurities, body issues, a need for love that sometimes eats away at us. Her anxieties and her nerves mirrored my own at seventeen. The world looming in front of you, but so centred around you, around who you are and who you will become. You fear change, but you embrace that it is inevitable. We cannot be young forever, we will not always live with our parents or rely on them, we must learn to let go of our loved ones (our siblings) and realize while we may move in different directions, we will always intersect.
I particularly love this quote (spoilers): "I think this is me letting go. Bit by bit. I think these are our tiny steps away from each other. Making not-quite-identical footprints in not-quite-opposite directions. And it's the end of the world and the beginning of the world and we're seventeen. It's an awesome thing."
It's a book very much about the power of family, of love, and of growing up. I have three siblings, and I know just how Molly feels about growing up and away; but while it is not the same, they are still there, always!
Bonus for the mom's tying the knot and Molly's killer Pinterest/Crafting skills. The edible cookie dough though...dying from how amazing it is!