Charlie’s mum has quit her job and moved them to a small cottage in the countryside. Though Charlie is not happy, she knows that a fresh start is in order after the breakup of their family. So she spends her time exploring their village, getting ready for sixth form year, and plotting to get her mother and step-dad (a teacher from Charlie’s school) back together. A job at a local bed-and-breakfast allows Charlie to explore her talent for art when another teacher from her school takes a job teaching classes there. Newbery creates a fine sense of place and introduces a likable character in Charlie. However, the last 40 pages wrap up quite unexpectedly, leaving readers wondering if they missed something. Charlie’s art teacher suddenly develops an unhealthy attraction to her, while, at the same time, Charlie develops feelings for her ex-stepfather. Fans of British chick-lit might enjoy the book, but will likely wish there was a more satisfying ending. Grades 7-10. --Shauna Yusko
"There is plenty in this emotionally wise novel for readers to think about" -- Nicholas Tucker Independent 20080404 "Newbery's talent for observing the everyday is that of a still-life painter" Daily Telegraph 20080712 "This is teenage fiction at its most accomplished: thoughtful, exquisitely written and - at times - achingly sad" The Irish Times 20080531 "Its sensitivity and believable characters and situations make it an accessible and interesting read" Write Away! 20080430 "An uplifting novel that embodies courage and determination" Wondrous Reads 20090324
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