Viking, 2008 ISBN: 0670010820
Fifteen-year-old Abby may well have the most embarrassing family ever. Her mother, after having married and divorced her father twice, is now recently married to a too-young guitar-playing hunk who she inherited after he moved on from daughters Kait and then Shelby. Shelby, at twenty-one has a three year old, and is living at home with her. Kait (also living at home) is pregnant, either by the guitar player, or possibly the boy next door. The guitar player is being unfaithful at home (with Shelby) and away. Things can’t get worse, can they? Then Abby’s father shows up again, having been kicked out by his current wife, and moves into her room, and reads her journal.
They all fight, they fight loudly, and they are known to fight on the front lawn to the amusement of the neighbors. When the fighting at her house gets out of hand, she escapes next door to her best friend Cody’s to spend the night, something she has done for years.
Abby is determined not to follow in her sisters’ footsteps when it comes to love. She’s got a list of rules: he can’t be previously “used” by anyone in her family; she can love him, but needing him is not okay, preferably she won’t fall in love until she and her best friend Cody manage to make their escape to New York City, and she’s going to college rather than getting pregnant, etc.
Unfortunately, she really has a thing for Cody’s older brother Jackson, but there was that week when he was dating Kait, and depending on whether or not you believe that Kait’s daughter is a preemie, Jackson could potentially be her father. Abby is so not going there. Despite what she feels. Despite Jackson’s sweet notes. She is not going there.
Cody is dreading the start of the school year due to the harassment he gets from the school bullies who have decided he’s gay regardless of the fact that Cody is so not going there to the point that he explodes when anyone even discusses gay rights in his presence.
When Abby outs him to himself and another gay student, he is infuriated with her. Fortunately he can’t stay angry for long, and they mend their fences. Cody comes out to his parents, and then decides to go back into the closet so he can have his car back.
The homecoming dance brings everything to a head for Cody and Abby and Jackson.
This is a laugh-out-loud funny book despite some of the serious issues and readers will be held in its grip right to the last page.