Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How Not to Spend Your Senior Year” as Want to Read:
How Not to Spend Your Senior Year
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How Not to Spend Your Senior Year

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  2,920 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
Rule #1: If at all possible, don't pretend to be something you're not. Specifically, don't play dead. Trust me on this one. I did it, so I should know.

Jo O'Connor has spent her whole life moving around. When it comes to new schools, there's not a trick in the book about starting over that Jo doesn't know. But life is about to teach her a new trick: how to disappear entirel
Paperback, 293 pages
Published December 23rd 2003 by Simon Pulse
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kathy * Bookworm Nation
I have mixed feelings about this one. I really liked that the story was so unique and original. I like the idea that Jo and her Dad are in the witness protection program and are constantly “on the run”. It added a nice element to the story and it was fun seeing Jo’s take on transitioning through different schools. On the flip side, it was almost too unbelievable. I can’t say much without giving away details, but I will say that I found it hard to believe that people wouldn’t recognize Jo as Jo ( ...more
Sep 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Its been a few weeks since I read this book but I can still remember it. In a whole the book was very entertaining, just didn't have the punch I'd hoped for.

Jo is a funny witty character. Her social insight of high school was funny and very true. I like how she didn't have self-pity about moving around and she wasn't mad at her dad over it either. Jo didn't think she was all knowledgeable and cultural because of all the places she had to been either. Now you might suspect her to be all insecure
Apr 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
not good, predictable...wishing the main character was true dead and was a real ghost, that would have made this book better. so far dokey keeps striking out...only book of hers worth readingg is repunzel retelling. that book was so wonderful I keep reading more books by dokey hoping that she has written another unique retelling but I keep striking out.
Mar 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-once
The introduction from the back of the book does a horrible job describing the book. While it gives the general plot line, it mostly fudges the truth. So let me just say, "no, she does not ACTUALLY die". Its kinda of hard to tell from reading the back.
All in all this book was funny and interesting. I really enjoyed reading it.
Aug 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
A terrible book! fine, ordinairy, okay-but then the girl is selfless and gives the guy to her best friend! WHY??? And then she ends up with a mean loser. ew.
Feb 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see what people do after you die? Well Jo O'Connor doesn't have to wonder.

As long as Jo can remember she lived her life out of a suitcase and numerous furnished apartments. She never questioned it. It just how things were. Until one day the truth comes out. Her father was a witness to a murder and they basically are on the run. Their deaths are faked, and Jo O'Connor is now Claire Calloway. Jo/Claire just can't leave things the way she left them th
Sara ♥
August 13-14, 2012

Have I not reviewed this book before? Weird! I've read this book several times now, and I love it. It's super cheesy in parts, but who cares! ;)

Basically, this girl and her dad are in witness protection because he witnessed a murder and the bad guy (mobster??) who did it is after them. So they have to move every so often to keep off the radar. Her goal has always been to blend: don't get noticed, don't stand out. But she goes to this new school, and immediately gets noticed by
Aug 01, 2010 rated it did not like it
This was a bad book. I don't know if I'm growing up and out-growing these romance books, but I thought this book was stupid. Maybe it's the author but, it was too perfect and so unrealistic. The writer's voice for the character was really annoying too. There were very few parts where I enjoyed the book and for most of it, I was just trying to get through it. I am a sucker for happy, romantic endings though.
Jan 03, 2009 rated it did not like it
I liked this book up until the plot kicked in. It was all downhill from there.
Sep 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: girls
Recommended to Cassie by: a friend
Cute. Not fantastic, but enjoyable. Definately a girl book. It kept me entertained and i would read another Cameron Dokey book. Quick read.
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great teen book about a girl who moves a lot, must fake her death during her senior year, comes back to say goodbye and everyone thinks she's a ghost. Entertaining.
Jan 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
A great chick-lit :)
Sep 09, 2007 rated it did not like it
Started to read becuase I like the author, but I couldn't get into it. Too high schoolish.
Dec 28, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: those who don't want a challenge
Shelves: already-read
the wasy the book is written is kind of kindergardenish and it leaves out some details.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Nothing about the cover art or title of this book should have gotten my attention as someone well out of high school, but I was nevertheless compelled by some undefined force to not only pick it up from the free book pile at work, but also to read it shortly thereafter. To my astonishment, I even finished it.

Having the pessimistic expectation that this would be absolutely unbearable, I realized early on that, though no work of art, it is at least somewhat entertaining. The dialogue is pretty ju
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Hm. Even genre romance deserves better writing and more plausibility. And I know Dokey can do better - after all, I chose to read this fluff because I already know that I like her ideas. But it was still a fun little read. And there were a lot of fresh ideas in it. So, yeah, I did like it, but I can't recommend it.
Sep 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes cute love stories with a twist!
Alright ladies & gentleman, i have officially finished reading this book! yay :) it was a pretty cute and unique book. Quite intriguing!
GRADE : 3.5! and yes.. the 0.5 is necessary!

Alright so here comes the review.. there will be've been warned!

Wow so this book was so not how i had thought it would be. When i read the cover.. the "ghost" portion threw me off! However, when i read the book... oh wow did it make sense. This book was pretty different, in the way that i felt kinda "
Dec 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever thought about what life would be like if you had to fake your death and then spend every day with the people you knew before you “died”? Well, Jo O’Connor or Claire Calloway had to do just that in How Not to Spend Your Senior Year by Cameron Dokey. Jo O’Connor was a young girl who lived with her single dad and had to move around for as long as she can remember. Although she never knew exactly and wondered about why she moved so frequently, she always assumed that she and her dad m ...more
Nov 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all my girls
Shelves: young-adult
Rebekah (age 12) was browsing my bookshelh and asked me if she would like this book. I told her I LOVED it, but then I decided that I'd better reread it before I gave it to her because I couldn't quite remember why I liked it so much. On second read, I still really, really like it, though I think Rebekah would do better to wait until she is in high school to read it.
Jo O'Connor has constantly been on the move with her father for as long as she can remember. She usually is the new kid in her c
May 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is about a teenage girl who's father has moved them around for years. Then, in her senior year she finds out that her father had witnessed a murder many years ago and now holds the identity of the mass, bank robber; the comelian. Beacause he has a photographic memory he forever holds the identity in his mind. Jo O'conner, the girl in the story, finds out that the reason they've been moving around so much is because the witness protection program wants to keep her, and her father safe ...more
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In my continuing venture to reread all the books on my shelf that I read a long time ago, I came across this book. A book to which I remembered the basic premise, but couldn't remember any of the details, down to not knowing a single character's name. But, unlike some others I've coerced myself in to rereading, I did remember that I liked this book. Luckily I was right.

This book is more unique than a lot of my old, middle-school chick-lit. Within the storyline is a little bit of mystery, romance
Jun 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Jo O'Conner and her father are constantly moving. So much in fact that she doesn't even bother to unpack her suitcase. And she doesn't mind moving until she lands in Seattle where she not only finds a best friend but a boyfriend (the class president and Big Man on Campus to be exact!) And just when she's been asked to the prom, her dad reveals a total shocker, he's a key witness in a murder investigation and the murder is after him. In order to stay alive they must fake their own deaths.

Dec 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
In How Not to Spend Your Senior Year by Cameron Dokey Jo has spent her whole life moving around from place to place. Jo knows what she thinks is just about everything you need to know to get through the very short months she will spend at one school then move to the next. Her dad takes her to what he says is the last school of her senior year. But then he tells her it's time to move again. She complains and refuses but then he tells her a story, that he saw something bad happen, a person do some ...more
Mar 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a cute throwback to the kind of stuff I used to read in high school and middle school. I definitely feel like I've outgrown it, but these kind of books are enjoyably fluffy just the same. Jo O'Connor and her dad live a complicated, roving lifestyle and they really haven't had the chance to develop roots in any one place before they had to move again. Jo hopes that her senior year will be different. She makes a friend, kisses a boy, and definitely doesn't want to move before she graduate ...more
Sarah Crawford
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Jo O'Connor is finally in her senior year at high school. She has moved over and over from one home to another, and from one school to another, all through her life. She never seems to live in any one place very long, and there's a reason.

She and her father are in the witness protection program. Her father saw something years ago and his testimony will be needed to convict a horrible criminal, but that will only work if the government is able to keep him and his daughter, Jo, alive.

May 11, 2008 added it
Shelves: advisory
What if your family never stayed in one place for too long? What if the moment your father receives a strange call you find yourself packing your bags and getting ready to move again? What if you get so used to this routine that you begin an automatic routine each time?
This is Jo O'Connor's life. Because her father is part of a witness-protection program, she finds herself constantly traveling to new places. Soon Jo learns that the best thing is to not get attached to one place for too long. But
Aug 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: High school students
My friend almost threw this book at me that she wanted me to read it so bad! So, I finally got it and read it. It was really good, not what I expected, but I really liked this book. It was cute, kind of funny, and had a really interesting story line. I couldn't really guess what was going to happen at the end of the book when I was in the middle of the book, which I can normally do. I could guess kind of towards the end, but still not really. that shows for one that it was a pretty good book if ...more
Mar 09, 2008 added it
Recommended to Laurie by: Wendy
Shelves: wmslibrary
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 13, 2008 rated it liked it
I really liked most of this light, Seattle-set YA. The story even had some genuine surprises along the way. So if the author could do something unique and creative THERE, why did she stick us with such a pedantic, predictable ending?

3-4 stars for the bulk of the book, 2 for the ending.

It's kind of like if Lois Duncan's book about the Witness Protection Program, Don't Look Behind You, was sort of light and funny.

By the way, this YA romance is also squeaky clean, if you've been looking for a stil
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Book Walk Essay 1 2 Feb 04, 2017 08:24PM  
My Book Walk Essay 1 1 Jan 30, 2017 06:42AM  
  • Ripped at the Seams
  • 30 Guys in 30 Days
  • Party Games (Simon Romantic Comedies)
  • Love, Hollywood Style
  • South Beach Sizzle
  • In the Stars
  • Dancing Queen
  • Cupidity
  • Spin Control (Royally Jacked, #2)
  • Animal Attraction
  • Love on Cue
  • Getting to Third Date
  • The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren (Simon Romantic Comedies)
  • Love Undercover (Simon Romantic Comedies)
  • A Novel Idea
  • Perfect Shot
Cameron Dokey is an American author living in Seattle, Washington. She has a collection of over 50 old sci-fi and horror films. Cameron was born in the Central Valley of California. Cameron grew up reading classical literature and mythology, perhaps due to her father, Richard, being a teacher of Philosophy, Creative Writing, and Western Literature.

Cameron has one husband and three cats, and is th
More about Cameron Dokey...

Share This Book

“This obsession with Jo’s ghost has got to stop. She’s the only one who can make that happen, but she can’t do it on her own. She needs your help. I need your help. Please don’t let me--us--down.”
“That was an extremely low blow,” Elaine said. “And stop talking about yourself as if you’re more than one person. You’re creeping me out.”
“I am more than one person,” I said. “And they both have the same question: Was that a yes or a no?”
“I could have done without Khandi Kayne.
“We know things,” Khandi said now, dropping her voice to a conspiratorial whisper. “The women in my family, I mean. We can just sense them.”
I drew a little witch’s hat with an arrow poking through the crown.
“You mean supernatural things?”
She nodded. “Personally I wasn’t one but surprised to walk into that theater and see Jo O’Connor’s ghost. I knew as soon as I put my hand on the door handle that something funny was going on. I got all sort of lightheaded.”
Probably the blood trying to find its way through the labyrinth of your brain.
More quotes…