Seriously, did anyone over the age of 12 not figure out who her father was about 100 pages before she did? This girl was no Nancy Drew;SPOILERS GALORE
Seriously, did anyone over the age of 12 not figure out who her father was about 100 pages before she did? This girl was no Nancy Drew; I'm not sure she's even Harriett the Spy. The author made it so obvious that if Wren had rubbed her brain cells together instead of chasing after Red Herring from Scooby Doo, she would have found Daddy Dearest much sooner.
The other problem I had was with the number of implausible events that had to come together to make this story. Her mom is a Ventura stringer for the LA Times, she's not even a regular journalist for them. She mostly reports the local football scores. Her one big story was about the impact and aftermath of a local mudslide that wiped out some homes and killed a few people. She's not even a scientific journalist but somehow she, of all the available writers in the country, gets chosen to spend 6 months in Greenland on a study.
Then she calls up the guy she dated at prep school (and later committed parenthood without his awareness) out of the blue and asks him to help get her daughter into their alma mater. No contact for 15 years and a waiting list to get into the uber-school but he gets Wren in (where the sudden vacancy just happens to make Wren and his daughter Honor roomies so the sparks can fly).
I didn't really get why Honor suddenly decided to tank her horse show. She's in the finals of a national competition at Madison Square Garden and she sneaks away to get hammered with a guy in his 20's. Wren et. al. show up to drag her puking passed out ass to the show and toss her onto her horse to save the day. Apparently she's a phenomenal rider, because, despite a BAC that would earn her a DUI and a night in the slammer, she finishes third.
Wren's mother is a selfish moron. She's going off to an assignment where she could die and she makes no provisions for her daughter other than potentially dooming Wren to the life she despised on Butt Crack Island. She got out of Dodge and never looked back, but, if she became a Popsicle, her daughter was going to be condemned to live in that hell hole and never escape. She's going to be gone for 6 months and she didn't even make plans for paying next semester's tuition (not that they ever explained how she came up with the swag to get Wren registered in the first place). Not exactly a Mother of the Year candidate...
Her newly discovered Dad was pretty blase about getting informed he had another child; he announces it to the world at a party and pretty much writes her a blank check to keep her enrolled. There was literally no drama; it was like "Oh, you're my kid, here's next semester's tuition."
On the positive side:
I love a good villain and Great-Aunt Helen was an absolute harpy. You can see why Wren's mom fled for her life. Helen lives in this old house on a tiny New England island with only 40 students in their school. She offers Wren grapefruit and black coffee for breakfast and pontificates about her mother's "inappropriate choices." Needless to say, Wren is more than a little pissed off at her Mom for potentially condemning her to live with this old battle-axe, but she also understands why Mom fled to California before letting the family know she was pregnant. Raising a kid on your own was preferable to the condemnation of the locals for committing parenthood (a quick wedding that neither wanted would have been arranged to save face with their contemporaries).
The necklace turned out to be a bit of a red herring; not meaning what either Honor or Wren assumed. But the explanation made sense....more
Teen with a addict mother witnesses a crime and agrees to testify against a drug dealer. For her safety she gets put in the witness protection programTeen with a addict mother witnesses a crime and agrees to testify against a drug dealer. For her safety she gets put in the witness protection program and goes from Philadelphia to West-Middle-of-Nowhere, Nebraska. Culture shock ensues....more
NYC sisters dealing with changes in their lives after Dad takes off for Hong Kong and Mom starts flirting with another guy. The oldest starts collegeNYC sisters dealing with changes in their lives after Dad takes off for Hong Kong and Mom starts flirting with another guy. The oldest starts college at Brown and has to deal with her over-the-top roommate and her boyfriend turning into Eeyore. The middle is emotive, all wrapped up in doing the right thing (like being a vegetarian and tattle telling on her younger sister). The youngest is a bitch who can't stand her middle sister.
Then one night the two younger siblings grudgingly attend a party together. Mom told Miss Perfect to keep an eye on her sister. Instead she hangs out with her friends; her sister get hammered and winds up trying to undress a guy. When he rejects her, she grabs a friend and takes him upstairs. She initiates things but then passes out; he takes advantage and rapes her. Her sister eventually goes looking for her and finds her comatose and panty-less. The victim doesn't remember what happened and there weren't any direct witnesses (the guy was in a bathroom when she was discovered); she doesn't want to discuss it and physically threatens her sister if she tells anyone.
But Goody Two-Shoes decides that, for her sister's own good, she's going to blab the story (including naming the suspected guy) to her counselor who is then obligated to tell their Mom. Needless to say, the victim isn't very appreciative of her sister's inability to keep her trap shut and their relationship implodes further (culminating in an ER visit)....more
Quite possibly the dumbest book I have ever read. Saw it at the library and decided to read it. Big mistake!
The biggest flaw is that it never explaineQuite possibly the dumbest book I have ever read. Saw it at the library and decided to read it. Big mistake!
The biggest flaw is that it never explained how an 18 year old dinosaur somehow magically shows up as a high school freshman. No backfill whatsoever; no information at all other than the school board approved it but they chose not to notify the parents- they expel elementary school kids now for bringing a plastic knife to school but they decided not to warn everyone that a 65 million year old carnivore is going to be roaming the halls...he even somehow speaks adequate English despite his beek.
I could not decide if the language was meant to be campy or was just ludicrous. Decide for yourself:
"When he screeched, Shiels felt the worm in her gut coil itself, squeeze as if time had sped to the jolt of the universe and molten rock would spurt in an intake of breath." WTF?
Shiels was a totally annoying Type A+++ student body president, issuing manifestos, irritating the hell out of people to make the school run her way, and occasionally jerking off her boyfriend in the janitor's closet. Then Mr. Dinosaur drops onto campus and suddenly her world gets turned upside down. Now all she can do is dream about him (despite the fact he chooses a different girl).
Sometimes feel like other people are seeing something I didn't when I give a low rating to a story everyone else liked. Not a problem this time; 2.29 is about the worst I have seen....more
Manipulative YouTube singer Kadence disappears. Her Milquetoast friend Lauren is the last person to see her and is now a suspect. She finally gets a cManipulative YouTube singer Kadence disappears. Her Milquetoast friend Lauren is the last person to see her and is now a suspect. She finally gets a clue-by-four to the head and realizes what total bitches they've been together. Plus Lauren finds out that Kadence has been blaming her for doing things that she did (such as outing a gay classmate so his father beats him up and kicks him out of the house). "Gee they were funny at the time, but now that I think about it I can see why people despise me!"
Her former best friend is a nut job. He gets screwed over by them, so he becomes a whacko stalker (videotaping them and keeping a log of their whereabouts) and poet (lovely visions of strangling the bitch and burying her in the woods). Surprise; he's now a suspect as well.
Missing girl's boyfriend refuses to see she's been fooling around, so he makes things worse by kissing Milquetoast Girl. Bingo, he's another possible suspect. And there are plenty of other people she's hosed that won't miss her.
The one quibble I would have is the inaccuracy about Kadence's father. He's referred to as "The Major," and supposedly spent 35 years in the military before retiring. That is impossible. Major is only the 4th officer grade (2nd Lieutenant, 1st Lieutenant, Captain, then Major). You have to be in the Army for 10 years to be eligible for promotion to Major. 70% of Majors become Lieutenant Colonels after 16 years; the rest are washed out. My brother-in-law just got promoted to "full bird" Colonel after 22 years of service. So, sorry but no "Major" is going to serve 35 years in the Army....more
Sort of a road trip version of "The Breakfast Club." Four teens that normally wouldn't interact (even though two are siblings) are thrown together wheSort of a road trip version of "The Breakfast Club." Four teens that normally wouldn't interact (even though two are siblings) are thrown together when they witness a crime and are forced to flee. And they can't trust the police because it looks like some of them might be involved. So they take to the road to go into hiding and irritate the crap out of each other along the way. To say they don't all get along would be an understatement (the geniuses destroy 3 of their cell phones through people having hissy fits), and they each have a sneaky suspicion that one of them knows more than they're telling....more
Maddie is so enamored with Gene Kelly that no other guy can possibly compete so why bother. She's never been kissed as a result (for good reason). SheMaddie is so enamored with Gene Kelly that no other guy can possibly compete so why bother. She's never been kissed as a result (for good reason). She's egocentric enough to think nothing but theater matters, even though she's now living in sports-mad Texas. The hunk across the street doesn't advertise his dancing skills because he's more invested in his college/pro potential as a baseball pitcher. So she browbeats the crap out of him and somehow is wounded when he repeated tells her to leave him alone because he isn't interested. But by God she's going to make his see the light...
This is the same girl who somehow supposedly lapses into daydreams about Gene Kelly on multiple occasions in the middle of conversations. Seriously? Does anyone believe she could snap out of a daydream to realize she's playing tonsil-hockey with a guy? And then tries to blame him for taking advantage of her when she initiated it?
I had high hopes when Mr. Hunk finally called her out on being so fixated on trying to make him do theater when it honestly wasn't what he wanted to do. It was an excellent clue-by-four he clubbed her over the head with and told her they were through. It finally made her do some introspection on what a horse's ass she was. If they'd stayed apart I'd be more inclined to rate it in the 3.5-4 star range. But instead he goes from being thoroughly (and justifiably) pissed off to doing a complete 180 and surprising her by performing because he's so madly in love and misses her. Blech!...more
Really 3.5 stars if that was an option, but I rounded up in this case due to the subject matter.
17 year old Rose has been watching her mother slowly dReally 3.5 stars if that was an option, but I rounded up in this case due to the subject matter.
17 year old Rose has been watching her mother slowly die from Huntington's Disease. Once someone who loved to dance, she now relies on a walker and wheelchair to move around. As her brain deteriorates, her memory disappears and she's prone to emotional (and sometimes R-rated) outbursts. Even worse, Huntington's is a dominant genetic mutation, meaning that Rose has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the disease.
There is a test available that will let her know if she's got the disease. It's not cheap, there's a lot of counseling involved beforehand, she's got to be 18 to do it, and the experts advise not testing so young. She waffles on whether she wants to know or not. Although it is invariably fatal, the symptoms don't start until your late 40s-early 50s. So even if she does carry the genome, she's probably got 30+ years before the symptoms appear. Even knowing that, she's totally stymied; why bother trying to enjoy life given what your future is going to eventually be? She has promise as a ballerina and a potential for her dream opportunity to come true, but she's totally ambivalent about applying.
She has no interest in romance either; why get involved when she's probably going to wind up a burden like her Mom? Then she meet Caleb, who has several family members suffering from Sickle Cell. They form a relationship, even though he's more interested in romance than she is, and she views herself as suffering more than him: Huntington's Disease > Sickle Cell Anemia. He tries to convince her it's not a contest but she's frankly self-centered and plays the martyr card way too often. She gets pissy because he's trying to make them boyfriend/girlfriend, yet she has a snit whenever he isn't immediately available for her texts/calls (they go to different schools). Won't spoil the ending other than to say she finally shows some maturity.
What I didn't like was her ambivalence towards their relationship; the hot and cold got wearing. They wind up having sex on multiple occasions yet she refuses to think of them as a couple. They just get frisky "in the moment" (and he conveniently always has a condom handy). It seems like you shouldn't be spreading your legs if you're not sure whether you really like a guy or not.
On the positive side, there was zero drama about them being of different races. It's a staple plot device to have a friend/family member on one/both side(s) not want the love interest around because they "aren't our kind" so it was nice that no race card was played in this novel....more
Teen with a domineering mom attends an uber-competitive school that pressures kids to be the best at everything at all times. She has no social life,Teen with a domineering mom attends an uber-competitive school that pressures kids to be the best at everything at all times. She has no social life, spending her weekends studying because Mom expects her to be valedictorian. She finally has an epic meltdown in Calculus, which a classmate turns into a YouTube video. It generates 600,000 views and she can no longer show her face around San Diego without being recognized. So she flees to Tahoe to live with the ski bum Dad she hasn't seen since she was a baby and tries to reground herself. ...more