I didn't want to like this book. I really didn't. It has all the things I normally despise. I don't like most books that carry the label "Christian fiction", because typically, they're just not that good. I don't like books that play with cliches. I don't typically like books that are set in high schools, because once was enough. And I don't like books that are this cheesy, because let me warn you: it is. And yet, here we are, at a five star rating. I think the main reason for this is that even though some of the cliches that are prevalent in Christian fiction are present here, the characters work around that. All the characters in this book seem like believable human beings with hope, fears, and doubts. They're the kind of people I could get coffee with and never lack for conversation. I'm invested in their lives to the point where I actively rooted for the main characters to get what they wanted.I think it says a good deal about a book that I read this almost two years ago, and can still remember most of it. I remember the characters, what they strove for, and what they got. It may not have been realistic, but this is one of those books where I just have to be all right with that. I also appreciate the fact that despite the overall positivity of this book, bad things do happen, which is normally my problem with Christian fiction: bad things just keep happening until it pushes the characters to have faith in God, or the book is just completely washed in happy events. This book has a balance of that this feels real, if not a little optimistic. I think, in the end, that's why I like this book so much, enough to actually give it five stars-- it's optimistic without seeming fake, and I appreciate an author who can write in that way.