I found Zoe to be a very interesting character. From the beginning you see that she is struggling in life...dealing with her mother's impending death. She then finds out that her best friend Lorraine is moving to Oregon. So not only is Zoe left to deal with her mother's illness, but now she's losing the only other person that she truly cares about.Zoe struggles with proving to her father that she's not a little kid anymore, and that she can handle seeing her mother, regardless of how sick she is.Zoe evolves through the course of the book--even though it's only 200 pages--from a girl who is drowning in self-pity, into a strong brave woman. From showing her parents that she can deal with her mother's illness and being able to admit that maybe a therapist might help her as it did her father (which to me shows immense courage and strength) to dealing with her friendship with Lorraine, to dealing with the new guy in her life, Simon, who happens to be more than meets the eye.Zoe realizes her strength when she helps Simon settle a centuries-old rivalry.At the end of the book, Zoe has grown and matured, and even though it seems she's lost so much in her life, she's also gained a lot.While the author did just fine finishing her story in 200 pages, I feel like I didn't get enough of Zoe and Simon's relationship. It also would've been nice to see a bit more of Zoe's relationship with her mom and dad before her mother's cancer ravaged her body. Zoe and Lorraine's relationship is pretty straight forward. For the most part you see that Lorraine is typically the self-absorbed leader while Zoe is the quieter, more private follower. The roles reverse for a time in the book, but not for long. Zoe reaches out to Lorraine for comfort but Lorraine has built up a wall. Zoe reassesses their relationship and realizes maybe she wasn't completely fair in the friendship.Zoe and Simon's relationship develops quickly and seems to end just as fast. In a way you do but don't feel their connection. It sometimes made me wonder if Zoe was just clinging to Simon because she was desperate for someone, anyone, to love her. I don't sense that desperate sort of vibe from her, but I still questioned it. I wanted more, craved more of their relationship. I think you got a better sense of how Simon feels about her than Zoe about him. I think sometimes young adult books are too quick to throw the characters into love, and while I think that the author did a better job than some, I still would've liked to see Zoe and Simon evolve as a couple but keep the same ending. I think though it was sad, the ending was perfect. Everything was neatly wrapped up and tied with a bow for you.