School Library Journal
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Gr 10 Up-As she is about to unlock the door to her dorm room at the start of her freshman year, Cecily Powell decides she's not ready for college. Without a word of complaint, her father drives her back to Chicago where she must live with the decision she's just made-to take some time off. But instead of traveling or seeking out new experiences, Cecily happily remains at home doing pretty much nothing. Eventually, she realizes that she must face her fears. After exploring her past and her goals for the future with the help of family, an old friend, and a couple of professionals whom her dad hires to nudge her along her way, Cecily decides it's okay to be uncertain. Zulkey addresses the anticipation and trepidation that accompany leaving home in a funny and frank way. Cecily's experiences and emotions are honest and refreshing. What is also worthy of applause is how the author avoids cliched scenarios-such as rekindling an old romance or being rescued by a best friend. Instead, the protagonist discovers her strengths. As they watch, learn, wait, and consider what they would do in her shoes, the supporting characters in Cecily's life also grow through her off year.-Kimberly Monaghan, formerly at Vernon Area Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Just before opening the door to her freshman year dorm room, Cecily turns around and decides to go back home. Her befuddled father lets her lead the way, and doesn't balk at the few months she spends in front of the TV at home. But eventually it becomes clear even to Cecily that she has to face her freakout and figure out the next step. What follows could likely be more helpful to prospective college-goers than the student handbook. Cecily talks to counselors, then friends and siblings about what they like and dislike about college, and finally realizes that her big hurdles are ones that many share when moving away and starting school: What if I picked the wrong school? What if no one likes me? As she grows to know herself, she also begins to really see those around her, providing readers with a full set of well-rounded characters. This is a strong, fresh-voiced first novel with definite crossover appeal to the college set who will likely be glad they made it to the other side.--Booth, Heather Copyright 2009 Booklist