Published by Milkweed Editions
Pub Date: September 13th 2011
Format: ARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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Fifteen-year-old Calli has just about everything she could want in life—two loving moms, a good-looking boyfriend, and a best friend who has always been there for support. An only child, Calli is excited when her parents announce that they want to be foster parents. Unfortunately, being a foster sister to Cherish is not at all what Calli expected. First Cherish steals Calli’s boyfriend, then begins to pit Calli’s moms against one another, and she even steals Calli’s iPod. Tired of being pushed around and determined to get even, Calli steals one of Cherish’s necklaces. But this plan for revenge goes horribly awry, and Cherish ends up in juvenile detention.
Isolating herself from her moms, her boyfriend, and even her best friend, Calli wrestles with her guilt and tries to figure out a way to undo the damage she’s caused. When her moms are asked to take on another foster child, Calli sees an opportunity to make amends for her past mistakes.
Funny, moving, and emotionally rich, Calli is a portrait of an endearing young woman caught between adolescence and adulthood, striving to do the right thing even when all of her options seem wrong.
What I really appreciated about Calli was the realistic view into a loving, unconventional family. Calli has two moms who love her and who are also very passionate about foster care and adoption.
When we meet Calli, we also meet her foster sister, Cherish, who is at that moment kissing Calli’s boyfriend. Things go from bad to worse from there. Cherish has been making Calli’s life hell from the moment she joined her family, but she feels she can’t go to her parents with this because they really want to help Cherish.
I felt for Calli in those moments of helplessness, and when she comes up with this plan to get back at Cherish, I wished she’d had someone to talk her out of it because it was a baaaad idea to mess with her. After everything goes down in flames between Calli and Cherish, we get a better understanding of why Cherish is the way she is, and Calli learns to trust in her moms a little more.
I enjoyed the way this story transpired and how real it felt. The writing was idiomatic and the characters voices felt authentic. I’d recommend this to fans of YA Contemporary/Issue books. I look forward to reading more by Jessica Lee Anderson soon!