Number of Pages: 384
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: November 1, 2002
“People ask me all the time what having Vince MacKenzie for a father was like. What they mean is, was he always crazy?” High school junior Jordan MacKenzie’s life was pretty typical: fractured family, new boyfriend, dead-end job. She’d been living with her father (the predictable optometrist) since her mother (the hippie holdover) had been too embarrassing to be around. Jordan felt that she finally had as normal a life as she could. Then came Gayle D’Angelo.
Jordan knew her father was dating Gayle and that Gayle was married. Jordan knew it was wrong and that her father was becoming someone she didn’t recognize anymore, but what could she do about it? And how could she — how could anyone — have possibly guessed that this illicit love affair would implode in such a violent and disturbing way?
I have read many of Deb Caletti’s novels, and I have to say that this one wasn’t her best. For some reason I just couldn’t get totally into it. Usually once I make some progress reading a book, it is easy for me to get lost in the story. However, that never really happened in this one. Don’t get me wrong, it was still entertaining and enjoyable to read, but it was just missing that extra something that makes a story really stand out.
Melissa, Jordan’s so-called best friend, really bothered me as a character. She always seemed to be disgruntled with Jordan, either over something she said or over how she was handling the situation with Kale (which, by the way, is one of the strangest names for a boy). Also, she was so incredibly mean to her brother, Jackson! There were times while reading that I just wanted to slam the book down and start yelling at her. Melissa wasn’t very supportive of Jordan throughout everything she went through. In my opinion, Melissa did not really serve an important purpose in the story, and it almost could have been written without her.
As always, Deb Caletti’s writing style was superb. There is so much intricate detail and description in her stories that you can’t help but wonder how she can actually be describing fictional places and people. Even though the story and plot itself was not as good as I had originally hoped, the writing still made it enjoyable to read. Furthermore, the ending of this book was really nice. It wrapped everything together in a way that was open-ended but still satisfying. I won’t spoil anything for you, so let’s just say that there is someone you hear a lot about throughout the book that you finally meet at the end. I thought the way it was done was quite clever.
Overall, this book grew on me as I read it. It’s one of those instances where the ending really made the book for me. And while it is not my favorite novel ever by Deb Caletti, I believe that it is certainly one worth reading.
My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) 4 out of 5 smileys.
Would I recommend it to a friend?: Yes.