by Laurie Halse Anderson

I really enjoy Laurie Halse Anderson's style of writing. Her stories always have something important to say. I am always amazed by the way she can create a world where you understand and feel exactly what the person in her story is going through. 

I did not like this book as much as Speak and Wintergirls but I still thought that it was an interesting story. She once again wrote a story that gave me a new perspective of what it means to be a teenager. In this case the story highlights the struggles and pressures seniors face while trying to make important decisions about their future. It follows a girl who has spent her school years pushing herself to reach her goal of getting into MIT but then does not get accepted. She must then figure out what she wants to do instead. She has spent so many years trying to achieve that one goal she can not grasp the idea of a future with out MIT. It also highlights the opposite end of the spectrum through the relationship that develops between her and neighbor, who is know as a trouble maker at school.

I did not like this story as much because I just didn't like the characters as much. I found the main character Kate to be too whiny and her in ability to focus on anything else beside MIT to be excessive. I also thought that the Neighbor Teri was just plain bad news and I was frustrated that nobody seemed to do much to stop her bad behavior. Of course as the story developed I discovered that there was a lot more to Teri's story and it once again made me reexamine the way I view the world.

So although I found the characters harder to deal with, I still think this is a book worth reading. The struggles that people face are not always easy and this book was a good reminder of that.