by Susin Nielsen
What happens when two very different teenagers are forced to live under one roof because their parents decide to live together? This is the story of a blended family in modern times facing the age old dilemma: how to get along and make the best of a challenging situation. Stewart is 13, socially challenged, just lost his mother. He’s as brilliant as he is awkward. Ashley is 14, not good at school, and very concerned with her social standing and appearance. She is coping (just barely) with her parent’s divorce and her father announcing he’s gay. The story is told in alternating chapters revealing how each of them is adjusting to the changes. Stewart is a very likable character, but Ashley comes off like a spoiled brat. Their interaction shows Ashley’s ability to be cruel. I suppose, that’s why this book rings so true. The author’s use of humor certainly softens the tension and we do see Ashley begin to change over time. Issues of bullying and intolerance are core themes here. It’s an easy, entertaining read. RECOMMENDED!