When I read the summary for the book I was instantly curious. A book about a high school girl who thinks she is psychic and goes through her days being able to read the thoughts of her fellow students and everyone else in her life. Knowing how brutal high school and how cruel teenagers can be I was wondered what direction the author would take the story.
The story is told in the first person, in the voice of the psychic teenaged girl. Her voice is unique and fresh. The action in the story moved along at a quick pace never losing my attention. In fact I began reading this before going to bed and ended up reading it in one sitting, not wanting to put it down. I was surprised to see that it was 2:30 in the morning when I finally went to bed (I never stay up that late). I just had to know how the story would wrap up.
This is realistic fiction set in today's world. The main character's parents are separated and her mother is a workaholic surgeon climbing the ladder at the local hospital. The main character, Kristie, is unhappy and disconnected from her parents (her surgeon father has been volunteering in Africa for a couple of years). Kristie tries very hard to be different and disconnected from her fellow students (wearing heavy makeup and dressing in homemade weird clothes from trash found in garbage bins on the street). As with many of today's teenage girls, Kristie uses profanity and thinks she is ugly and makes other negative statements about herself. Also typical of real life, many of the teenaged boys are more interested in looking at her large breasts than looking at her face.
I enjoyed the book not just because it was a page-turner, but because in the end numerous problematic things turn out right and are heading in the right direction. (Some young adult novels published today have negative elements in them and there is no movement toward fixing the situation. I was happy to see this book moving in the right direction on the various issues.)
I shed a few tears before the story ended, especially because it is clear that the main character's attempt to have a tough exterior was an attempt to hold in and to cover up her hurt and pain. Without giving the story away I will share that Kristie's family situation improves in the right direction, not the best scenario but in a better place than what it was at the beginning of the story.
Although I did predict two big things that happen I still enjoyed the story and won't downgrade my rating due to the predictability factor. Perhaps every reader will not make the same prediction as I did. I could also have done without some of the profanity and the numerous negative references to the girls own large breasts, I understand that they were included to describe the state of mind that the character was in (angry and hating herself).
There are good lessons in this book. There are issues in the book that would make for interesting discussion between girls and their mothers or at a book club for teenaged girls. I don't think that this book would be of much interest to boys (but I could be wrong) so I am not sure that this would be a good pick for required reading for discussion in a high school class or for a high school summer reading list. Some of the discussion topics are judging people on their appearances, judging girls based on their breast size, how teenagers treat each other, teasing, how teenagers try to hide their pain and how hard it can be to be a teenager dealing with real problems such as divorce. The book also contains a girl with an eating disorder (who seeks inpatient treatment). The book contains a homosexual male character too which I'm sharing in case you want to know what other types of issues are present.
This is an entertaining escape read for teenagers yet has some good values addressed within the story. The book will pull readers into the story and they will be anxious to find out how the story wraps up.
Families who want to avoid book with supernatural content would probably choose to avoid this book because the main character thinks she is psychic.