Brashares is one of those few authors who can really capture the emotion of love and have your stomach twisted up with the intensity of the emotion she portrays.
This is a very simple book with a very simple plot. I doubt it's intended to have one thinking after the end. It's very well done and its purpose is well served. I was captivated by this book the whole way through. The two main characters do get together quickly, which gave me a feeling of dread--I knew something bad had to be coming, and I was right.
The characters were well developed and easy to imagine. I didn't understand the reasoning behind a few of the decisions characters made, but I could understand their sentiment. It's a very nostalgic book and made me feel sad, too, at the way experiences change as we grow older. The emotions were captured very well and the way our main characters, even as they grew older, held on to their roots was very touching.
I recommend this book to anyone looking for a distraction from the real world. This has such real emotions, and captured the emotion of yearning love, the way you feel when you first fall in love and the way that lasting love feels, in the way that few can.