Deb Caletti, Author . Simon/Pulse $6.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7434-3684-7

The normally stable father of high school junior Jordan becomes involved with a married woman, then kills someone. Told as a flashback through Jordan's first-person narrative (although Jordan does not reveal at the beginning who dies), the novel takes place during the summer on a fictional island in western Washington. Debut YA novelist Caletti peoples Jordan's world with fascinating characters, including a hippie mother who runs a bed and breakfast with her kinetic artist husband, and her best friend, status-focused Melissa, who works with Jordan at a weight loss center run by an eccentric Christian couple. Jordan herself can be funny, making light of her situation with caustic remarks ("He was an optometrist for God's sake" she says when people ask her what her murderous father was like), and also vulnerable ("That's not what people want to hear—that my father was just a normal guy whom I loved, love, with all my heart") as she leads readers carefully towards her eventual realization of her own identity. She also weaves in pieces of advice she's picked up from Big Mama, a wise, warm-hearted fishery worker who often incorporates salmon into her lessons. Two subplots involving Jordan's romantic interests create unnecessary distractions, but captivating details make this scandalous story seem all too real, and Jordan's magnetic voice marks Caletti as a writer to watch. Ages 12-up. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 11/18/2002
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 322 pages - 978-1-4169-5781-2
Prebound-Glued - 384 pages - 978-0-613-57580-5
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Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-7434-4384-5
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