My name is Katie, and I am a reader, writer, and book blogger. I read mainly young adult, although sometimes I venture into adult or children's books.
My blog, where I post book discussions, reviews, and the occasional writing-related post, is Kittens and Books.
I received a free review copy of this book through Netgalley.
From the very start, Jesse presented himself as an unlikable character. His thoughts were unfiltered and often mean, and his voice was blunt and unemotional. Still, I liked him. Of course he was a jerk, but I rooted for him all the same - to become better, to see the brighter side of things, just to get what he wanted.
It was so interesting to see things through his eyes. The thing that kept me going in this book was his voice, and the fact that I was interested in the story and what he had to say. Jesse struck me as very believable and realistic, and I loved that.
His relationships with others were also great. Mr. Dunkelman, Jesse's fake grandfather, and Pete, an unlikely friend, could be just as bad as Jesse. Their interactions made me smile, even though they were less than polite towards one another. Pete was also a nice way to bring in a character with disabilities, without putting too much emphasis on this or making him out to be the poor disabled kid. I liked that Jesse didn't take pity on him, because Pete took enough pity on himself - which was also good to see. He had flaws and was treated like an actual character, same as the rest.
Bridget brought some balance to the story. In the middle of these grumpy, somewhat unlikable people, there is this nice, seemingly perfect girl. The way she cared for Pete and the other kids she worked with was so touching.
Overall, I really love this book. The more I think about it, the more I love the entire story and all the characters. It's definitely a new favorite.