All of the characters in this book—even the seemingly shallow J Squad members—are multi-faceted and extremely complex. While they are admittedly prone to making some very poor decisions, they ultimately recognize and regret their mistakes. The ending is not “happily ever after,” which is refreshing and realistic, but the growth of all of the characters is what is important and what sticks with the reader. The author tackles the subject of love in all of its formats (mother-son, father-son, mother-daughter, father-daughter, boy-girl, husband-wife) and readers are left pondering their own relationships and wondering what they could do to improve them.
Recommended for grades 9-12.