Release Date: July 8, 2008
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books, Delacorte Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Fifteen-year-old Amanda can’t seem to live up to her mother’s– a.k.a. The Captain– standards. It doesn’t matter what she does or what she doesn’t do, it always lands her in hot water. She fights with her mother so often she has to give them names to keep them all straight. She’ll never measure up to her perfect little sister Malady and she resents The Captain for it.
Since Amanda doesn’t get the support she needs at home she often feels unwanted by her own mother. In retaliation Amanda turns to someone that will give her attention, boys.
Rick Hayes the most popular guy at school starts flirting with Amanda and she thinks she is in heaven. No matter that he already has a girlfriend. She enjoys their secret make-out sessions in the parking lot, but she wants more. She wants to be with him in public, more specifically she wants to be his girlfriend. Rick offers her that and a date to homecoming all in exchange for one thing. Her virginity.
What an outstanding debut novel! I look forward to reading more by Baldini and Biederman. The plot was refreshingly original. And Amanda’s character was so truthful and raw. She’s everything I remember about being a teen, insecure, unsure, and only wishes she was popular. I also loved that even though Amanda’s life was less than perfect she wasn’t one of those characters that whines and pitied herself the whole story. That absolutely drives me crazy! And she had plenty to whine about! The mother–daughter relationship was so compelling. I’m glad I never had a mom like that! I absolutely recommend this book to teenage girls. Warning: there are sexual situations and suggestions in this novel.