A family secret is revealed during an ill-fated—yet hilarious—trip to Disney World.Sixteen-year-old Hannah Sampson knows her family is not what you would call normal. Her father compulsively buys dented cans and has a particular fondness for cans without labels, which are extremely discounted because their contents are a mystery. Her mother takes countless pictures of her family and then glues them down into the pages of her scrapbooks, but does not allow anyone to look at them. Ryan, Hannah’s mischievous fourteen-year-old brother, is headed straight for the remedial track at the local community college, if he’s lucky. Ben, her eight-year-old brother, is a walking sound effects machine, who prefers to communicate with noises rather than words. While Hannah is focused on escaping her working-class Connecticut suburb, she also finds herself being tugged back home as she worries about her brother Ben.
Hannah’s parents inflict one last family vacation on the Sampson children, a trip that goes comically wrong almost from the get-go. Hannah is forced to confront her family’s past in Disney World, of all places, when an emotional argument prompts her parents to disclose a secret they have been keeping from the children for sixteen years. Ultimately, she must decide whether to leave her hometown and not look back, or to focus on helping her family.
received to review for my honest opinion
I have to be honest. Going into this book, I did not think I was going to like it as well as I did. I was pre-warned that it was not a book centered on romance. The premise still sounded interesting, however, so I decided to give it a try. This book.... was awesome. I absolutely love Hannah and her family. She is a sixteen year old girl and the story is told from her viewpoint and in her voice. She is so sarcastic and whip- smart. I love that in a female character. Sarcasm is my favorite form of communication, so I love it in my books. But it is not an overdone hateful type of sarcasm. It is witty and her brother does it too. They are just too much. While this is not really a happy -go- lucky type of story, I still found myself enjoying it like it was. Her family is going through problems- all of them. She is embarrassed by her quirky and strange family and wants to get the hell out of dodge as soon as she can. College. Far away. She is extremely studious and all she really thinks about is college and escaping her nightmare of a small town existence. But sometimes you have to look beyond yourself and your own problems.
I am going to name the characters that pop into my head(in order from least favorite to favorite) and words that pop into my head to describe them
Aunt Lydia- Evil. Cold. Horrible. COW (lol)
That uncle guy.. what was his name.. started with a F?- who? (lol)
Mom- quirky. scrapbook (i know, not descriptive)
Dad- quirky. cheap. sweet. rocks (not descriptive.. but hey. lol)
Ryan- witty. lazy. awesome. restless. trouble.
Hannah- funny. nerdy. witty. passive. SAT (again, I know)
Ben- favorite. youngest. cute. "vrrooooom" (I did it again!). troubled. sweetheart
My favorite aspect of this book? Well, I just overall loved the writing. I mean the book flowed really well and the characters were individual and I felt like an excellent job was done to make them stand out on their own in the story even when Hannah is still the main character. I really love how this was written and I hope the author is busy writing more since this is her debut novel. I really had not expected to like it as much as I did. I really didn't, but it was great. Not only was there no grammatical errors that I picked up on, but I learned SAT words from Hannah while I was reading. haha. That is another part I loved- how the author incorporated SAT words and put them in the story. They were ridiculous words that are rarely used in everyday conversations, but they just fit right into the story. This is largely due to how Hannah introduces them. She is trying to learn them so she is relating them to her everyday circumstances and making them fun. (I get this because that is how I learn words. I make silly correlations and am better able to remember them come test time). Now.. the only thing that could have possible made this book better? romance. lol. I know, I'm hopeless. ;)
Anything that did not really come across well?
huh. well I guess the end may have seemed like it had a smidge less flow than the rest of the book. But there was a few things going on there that could have affected that.