Hannah James just wants to blend in. While other people in her high school are looking to make themselves stand out, Hannah wants everyone to stop looking at her. They look at her because she's the daughter of Jackson James, the 72-year-old man who founded an empire based on showing off scantily-women, and Candy Madison, one of Jackson's former 'special girls.' When she's not dodging the stares of her classmates and neighbours, she works in a call centre for BurgerTown, taking drive-thru orders over the phone. The only good part about her life? She gets to work with Josh, a fellow high school student who impresses Hannah with his coffee drinking, big book reading ways. If only she didn't also have to work with Finn...
(below this: warning, more potential spoilers than usual)
This book made be feel a bit old. Was it my age (and experience?) that made me feel from page one that Finn was clearly the better choice for Hannah, and in general? Or was that Scott's intention? I don't know; I can only read it the way I did. But I found Finn to be a fascinating character who was given depth and complexity despite Hannah's best efforts to reduce him to a high school stereotype.
The premise was fresh (and certainly a new spin on 'my parents are so embarrasing!' - Candy leads underwear cyberchats from their house, and Jackson lives in a castle with a number of 'special girls' that are barely older than Hannah), and Scott was able to create in Hannah a character who is right about so many things and wrong about so many more. The ending felt a bit rushed in its pacing (and Candy suffered from some whiplash characterization changes), but the combination of family drama, boyfriend drama, and self-knowledge drama kept things moving nicely. I'd previously read Scott's Love You, Hate You, Miss You, and I'm curious to read more of her stuff.
Find it at Amazon.
Read it with:
Mr. Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream by Steven Watts
My Life Starring Mum by Chloe Rayburn
The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson
Swim the Fly by Don Calame
I got this book: from my library.