School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 8 Up-Fifteen-year-old Abby Savage has always thought of herself as the "normal" one in a household that more closely resembles a soap-opera cast than a real family. It's the summer before sophomore year, and, with her best friend Cody's help, Abby is determined to follow her One True Love Plan (formulated to avoid the mistakes of her sisters Shelby and Kait). Then Mom announces that she is pregnant by her new husband, Steve, a younger man who also happens to be the father of Kait's unborn child. Things become even more complicated when Cody's older brother, Jackson, returns home. Last spring, Abby thought she was falling in love with him, but she now distances herself because she's obsessed by the possibility that he could be the father of Kait's child (Kait dated Jackson before Steve). This somewhat farcical account of the Savage women is told in a witty, toned-down Meg Cabot style. The novel moves breathlessly from one family drama to the next-often in front of the neighbors-and touches on some heavy topics along the way, most notably Cody's attempt to come out of the closet. While there's no fairy-tale ending, the story's central romantic conflict is tied up a bit too tidily. Still, the likable main character and fast-paced storytelling will appeal to fans of Aimee Friedman's The Year My Sister Got Lucky (Scholastic, 2008) and Meg Cabot's Pants on Fire (HarperCollins, 2007).-Amy S. Pattee, Simmons College, Boston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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When a family fight breaks out in the front yard, Abby Savage is next door with a friend who can't avert his gaze. "He has that look in his eyes that explains exactly why Jerry Springer has been on the air for so long," Abby says, with a wry detachment that characterizes her determination to break the Savage family pattern. Her mother is pregnant, (probably) by Steve the Guitar Player, who has also dated Abby's sisters, one of whom is also pregnant, also possibly by Steve. Abby's refuge is best friend and neighbor Cody, a gay teen in denial. She is trying mightily to not fall in love with Jackson, Cody's older brother, the other possible father of her sister's baby. A big soap opera fan, Abby views her life comically through a lens that includes amnesia, babies switched at birth and True Love. The humor bubbles consistently; note that the unsavory adults, underage drinking and harassment of gays (Cody is pelted with "butt plugs" at the homecoming dance) push this first novel to an older readership. Ages 12-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved