Author: Trish Doller
Publication: September 24, 2013
By: Bloomsbury Children's
*Love this cover!*
Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility.
Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.
I don't usually post reviews this early but I am making an exception for this book because it needs to be on EVERYONE'S "To Read" list! In fact, you can click the links above to pre-order it, so go ahead and do it, I'll wait. ;D
My First Reaction: This was like a gift I didn't even know I needed.
I am so grateful to have had the chance to read this early and I know my words will not do it justice but I'll try. Also, thank you Trish Doller for writing this heart-achingly beautiful story!
What I Loved: Completely unputdownable, this was one of those stories that sucked me right in and didn't want to let me go until it broke my heart in the best way possible. Beautiful writing, endearing characters and a gripping story of family, forgiveness and love - what it is and what it isn't.
Callie struggles to find her place in the strange new world of Tarpon Springs, Florida with a family that is both foreign to her yet strangely familiar too. Old habits die hard and old wounds run deep, but Callie is surrounded by people who love and support her even when she doesn't make the best decisions. Her father Greg is one of those people and I absolutely loved him!
This was one of the best father-daughter relationships I've read in contemporary YA. It would've been so easy for him to add to the pain of Callie's new life whether by rejecting her or villainizing her mother, because he is hurting too, but he doesn't. Instead, Greg lovingly sets boundaries while also allowing Callie room to grow and heal. He doesn't give up when she closes herself off either, but makes sure she knows that she is loved and wanted.
Then there is...a guy. One who struggles between doing what's best and what's expected. One who extends a gentleness and patience toward Callie that left me clutching my chest, fanning my face and wiping my eyes.
The ending left me in tears but with a smile on my face.
What Left Me Wanting More: Nothing. However, I could read an entire book devoted to sponge diving, especially if it were a picture book. ;)
Final Verdict: Another fantastic story from an equally fantastic author! READ.IT.
Review also posted at YABC.