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3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  149 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Ceejay has never been pretty or popular, but she knows who she is: she's younger sister to Bobby, the most charming bad boy in town. Bobby's a bit wild, but with his big heart and sense of fun, everybody loves him. And nobody understands Ceejay like Bobby.

Now, Ceejay can't wait for Bobby to return home from his tour in Iraq. But then he turns up unannounced and seems to be
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Ember (first published January 1st 2011)
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Tim Tharp is hands down the best writer of small town lower middle class existence (i.e. white trash) of any author for any age group. He particularly excels in the "my life peaked in high school" kind of small town existence. Here is another entry in the genre......this time told from a girl's point of view.

Unlike his first two books, this one did have *some* flaws......his secondary characters are brilliant as usual but at times the book felt a little crowded. And the ending is a bit pat. Stil
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Summary: Ceejay never cared if she fit in anywhere because she was the younger sister of Bobby- a charming, bad boy who was her hero. She always knew she fit there. But then when Bobby returns home from fighting in Iraq, he is different. The connection between them is gone and Ceejay feels lost. The old Bobby has to be somewhere inside of this new Bobby and she is going to get him back to normal.

What I Think: This book is an interesting one a

Badd, a story about the effects of the war in Iraq and the people who witness this, both overseas and close to him, is a heartfelt and beautiful story, with an innate sense of good storytelling and enrapturing style. Ceejay, a girl who takes after her older brother, Bobby, is desperate to have her brother back when he comes to visit his family again after a respite from the war- but when he does reappear, Ceejay is disheartened to discover that he isn't the same 'bad
Patrick Yecha
If I could through myself
Set your spirit free
I'd lead your heart away
See you break, break away
Into the light
And to the day.

Bad by U2

This is a harrowing tale of a small town girl trapped in a big time way. Ceejay's brother returns from Iraq a month early, and Ceejay soon finds out why. For her whole life, she has idolized her brother and thinks of him as the worlds greatest person. When he returns a different person, Ceejay is left to try and figure out what has gone wrong.

One of the things I tho
I didn't have high expectations for this book, and thank God for that. It wasn't great, it wasn't terrible. It was OK.

Ceejay was the main problem I had with this book. Trouble is, she's the protagonist. Ceejay goes around beating up people and yet she can be so stupidly sensitive. I suppose it boils down to insecurity, but still, it's annoying. While I admire her for sticking by Bobby and never giving up on him, there were times where I hated her. In particular, the bit where she storms out bec
Scott Freeman
This is the first contemporary YA book dealing with the war in Iraq and PTSD that I felt was worth my time. Good read by an Oklahoma author.
Molly the Librarian
Ceejay McDermott has always worshipped her big brother Bobby, idolizing his recklessness and daring sense of fun. Bobby is b-a-d-d in every sense of the word, and Ceejay is proud that she takes after him. The fun is soon over when Bobby gets into a little too much trouble and finds himself enlisted in the army to avoid jail time.

Ceejay can’t wait for her hero to come home from Iraq to rejoin the family, but their reunion isn’t quite what she had in mind. For reasons kept secret by her brother,
So I'm actually not so sure about this book. It had a good story - focusing on a young girl named Ceejay who is forced to come to the realization that her brother, Bobby (who just returned from a tour of duty in Iraq), isn't the same guy he used to be. At some points, the story is touching and painful - especially if you know someone who's been in the army in the last 10 years. But at the same time, this book is a little past its time. I feel like the world, myself included, is so desensitized t ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

Ceejay has always been close to her older brother. It's been them against the rest of the world, or at least the rest of their family. Unfortunately, when Bobby's mischievous ways lead to the point of a joyride in a stolen car, a choice must be made. Their parents chose the military over jail for their errant son.

With the exception of leave time, it's been years since Ceejay and Bobby have been together. He is expected home soon, an
Ceejay has always been close with her older brother Bobby. He is charismatic, smooth and wild at heart. When he gets caught stealing a car, Bobby has to decide between jail and the army. Bobby has been serving in Iraq, and Ceejay misses him terribly. She is both stunned and thrilled when Bobby comes back to town early unannounced. But something isn’t quite right, his behavior is moody, and he’s not acting like himself. He doesn’t want to associate with the family, and is heavily drinking and doi ...more
Ceejay McDermott lives in Knowles, IA and not much goes on in her small town. She idolizes her older brother Bobby because he is B-A-D-D, BADD (she never explains why there is an extra d), and so is she. She has always felt he was the only one in the family who understood her but he is not around right now. He had a wild streak that got him arrested for drugs and the plea deal included enlisting in the army. He was sent to Iraq and Ceejay discovers he came back earlier than he should have. She w ...more
Susie Wang
Loved the way Tim narrated the hurts of the soldiers. They should be recognized and what they've been through is worth people's time. We should all accept the way soldiers are and do our best to prevent more from becoming them.
I also love the way Tim writes about family. It's extremely real and convincing. The way Lacy grew up so fast and the way Bobby backed away from his family when they can't understand him feel true.
Really good story tells about the beauty of accepting people, sticking with your family, and friendship and how it can change for what seems like the worst but can really be for the better!
Lenore (Biblliolatry Me!)
"This is not a story of war or post-traumatic stress disorder, or ever about how military persons’ experiences affect their families. It is about the concepts of changes that occur. The not –always-identified elements that influence, stimulate, socially-multiplied facets of life that can be affected by a returning veteran. This novel has a wealth of insight for young adults, as well as adults, who want, will have to or have already experienced the essence of what Tharp has revealed. This novel i ...more
Another great novel from Tim Tharp about great insight into the life of a teenager whose brother returns from war in Iraq. When CJ learns that her brother Bobby is back earlier than expected, she hopes that her family will be able to return to normal. Not only has family grown and changed, Bobby is not the same, and CJ has a tough transition before coming to realize that although things change, family is family.

The ending was a little neat, but I really enjoyed it.
Started this ages ago and couldn't get into it for the longest time. Main character Ceejay is so very unlikable at the beginning of the book, a real tough girl whose older brother is away fighting in the Middle East. Then she finds out he's home unexpectedly early, but acting differently (PTSD). Through her developing relationship with her brother and a couple of other misfits in town, she grows up and learns life lessons. Pretty darn good.
it was ok.

update 3/2012 - since my son is 90% sure he is joining the Marines in 2 years, I think I'll be reading some military lit in the future, for what it's worth.



This one is going back to the to-read pile.

I really like the story so far, but I'm soooo burned out from reading. I will tackle this again ...
Jodi Mae
A colorful caste of characters: A strong teen female protagonist. Her brother_ a returning vet from Iraqi war suffering from PTSD. Small town life. All revolving around the antics, wisdom, prophecies, and bizarre yard sculptures of a schizophrenic man whose own brother died in Viet Nam and how he is the catalyst for positive change.
Barbara Klipper
I had trouble getting into the book, but by the end I was really engaged with these characters. Interesting to see the literature that is growing out of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I especially liked how CJ's brother was able to relate to the town's mentally ill person. Raised some thought-provoking questions.
The narrator's voice is overpowering, but consistent.
The events are predictable.
The setting is gritty, small-town, which I adore (reference my love for Tawni O'Dell's books).
The resolution is unsatisfying.
The writer's talent is clear, but I much prefer The Spectacular Now.
Yet another example of Tharp's ability to craft immediately relatable reads that remain distinctly his own. This is a very good book -- I just liked "The Spectacular Now" so much more (cuz it was fun too).
Stephanie A.
It just...was? Not bad, not memorable, not new territory, but given a slight edge with the Captain Crazy storyline and worth a read-through. Ceejay got less hostile and horrible as it went on, that helped.
Anne Broyles
Tough girl, Ceejay, idolizes her older brother, Bobby. When he comes home from Iraq, damaged and desperate, she must face the realities of how war can tear apart soldiers and their families.
Wonderful characters and realistic issues of a family who refuses to face the damage war has done to their oldest child.
Took me awhile to get into this book but wow, when I finally became invested in these characters, it was so worth it.
Joshua Wilson
I thought the book was remarkable it really gives you a outlook on life
Anna Seckman
If it were possible, I'd make this book owe ME a star.
this was a ok book a little slow
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Tim Tharp lives in Oklahoma where he writes novels and teaches in the Humanities Department at Rose State College. In addition to earning a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and an M.F.A. from Brown University, Tim Tharp has been a factory hand, construction laborer, psychiatric aid, long-distance hitchhiker, and record store clerk. His first novel, Falling Dark (Milkweed Press), was awarded th ...more
More about Tim Tharp...
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