Author: Terri Giuliano Long
Publish Date: October 1, 2010
Source: I received a copy from the author; however, this did not affect my review.
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a fiction fan.
- You like dysfunctional family stories.
From Goodreads.com: "The Tylers have a perfect life--beautiful home, established careers, two sweet and talented daughters. Their eldest, Leah, an exceptional soccer player, is on track for a prestigious scholarship. Their youngest, Justine, more responsible than seems possible for her 12 years, just wants her sister's approval. With Leah nearing the end of high school and Justine a seemingly together kid, the parents are set to enjoy a peaceful life...until Leah meets Todd, a former roadie for a rock band.
As Leah's parents fight to save their daughter from a world of drugs, sex, and wild parties, their divided approach drives their daughter out of their home and a wedge into their marriage. Meanwhile, twelve-year-old Justine observes her sister's rebellion from the shadows of their fragmented family-leaving her to question whether anyone loves her and if God even knows she exists.
Can this family survive in Leah's wake? What happens when love just isn't enough?"
My Two Cents:
Troubled kids don't always come from bad families. Leah's family finds that out the hard way. On the surface, the Tylers seem like a pretty normal family. They seem to be living the dream. They have a nice house. Their kids seem to be okay for the most part. Leah is a star soccer player. Justine is both very responsible for her age but she also seems a little immature. It was an interesting combination to me.
I felt really bad for the Tyler family. Leah's behavior takes a total 180. At times, it seemed like bad things kept happening in the book just to to make a point. I get that just because you have a good family, it doesn't mean that your kids can't go off the rails. With Leah, it just seems to happen very suddenly. Suddenly she's dating an older guy. Then she's listening to alternative music. Then she's going out late. Then she's smoking. Then she's going to do drugs. It's just event after event after event. What we don't see is how Leah is such a smart girl. She makes terrible decisions. I understand that even really smart people make dumb decisions but it just seemed like a bit of overload. I didn't think you ever really got to know Leah except for the fact that she makes really terrible decisions.
I was also a little confused about when the story actually took place. I was under the impression at first that the book took place in the present day but the references to the music and some of the things that the characters in the book seemed very dated.
What I did like about the book is that it's a portrait of a family where everything isn't exactly as it seems. I loved trying to figure out what was going on with each member of the family. I think this is a good book for anyone who likes stories about families who are not necessarily functional.