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When Deanna Lambert was thirteen years old, her father found her in the backseat of a car having sex with a friend of her older brother’s. Three years later, her father still barely speaks to her, and she’s developed a reputation as the school skank, in spite of the fact that she hasn’t had sex with anyone since then. The summer after her sophomore year of high school, she’s ready to be rid of the status quo her life has been for the past three years. She gets a job so she can put away some money to get out of her parents’ house- only to discover that Tommy Webber, the boy her father found her with, works there as well. Over the course of the summer, she and her family need to address what happened between her and Tommy, and there are more than a few dysfunctional relationships in the novel that need attention as well.

This was a really quick read for me- I think, all totaled, it took me an hour to read. This is a book I enjoyed, but didn’t fall in love with. However, Deanna is one of the most real young adult characters I’ve read in awhile. She’s not without her flaws, but she’s really not a bad person. As I was reading the novel, I kept comparing her, perhaps unfairly, to Parker Fadley in Courtney Summers’ novel Cracked Up to Be, which I read at the end of 2008 and reviewed here. Unfortunately for Parker, Deanna certainly comes out on top. Both have problems and an outcast complex, but Deanna wasn’t without redeeming qualities (whereas I had a very hard time finding them with Parker).

Overall, I thought this novel was good but not great. It felt like something was lacking a little bit, but I don’t think I can even explain what it was. That may be more about me and less about the novel. I did appreciate the speed at which I was able to read this, though. Recommended for those who like young adult novels.

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Pages: 192
Rating: 3.5 stars
Qualifying Challenges: 100 Books, Countdown Challenge, Young Adult Challenge, Winter Reading Challenge
999 Category: none