My Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review
Description: On Emily's sixteenth birthday, she discovers a letter that tells of her long lost father, who not only wants her back but is also filthy rich! Tensions between her and her mother were never very good, and with this letter, they escalate to where Emily moves out for the summer to her new/old family - at their opulent summer home. Find out how Emily wrestles with her feelings, finds love and balances her two families in "The Donahues".
My Review: I can't even pretend to know what it would feel like to find out on my 16th birthday that I was adopted. That's exactly what happened to Emily. Emily seemed to have a pretty normal life up until that point--an older brother, a mother who worked hard to provide for her and loved her dearly (even though there was friction between them), and a fire fighter father who passed away heroically when she was seven years old. Her whole world turned upside down with this revelation.
Emily was a very conflicted girl, but then again, she is a teenager. She seemed happy one minute and very angry the next. There was a lot of yelling that went on. She wasn't very nice to her best friend, Stephen. She used him for her convenience and when she needed to take her frustration and anger out on someone, he was the target. He wasn't exactly perfect either--he would be her BFF one minute and then would shut off and become very angry at her. I have two teens, so I totally get it--emotions run high and immaturity abounds. Emily lied a lot--to her mom and to Stephen--in order to do what she wanted to do. But when she found out that Stephen told someone a lie about their friendship, she was very upset--it's okay for her to lie, but not him? She said, "...I thought about what he might infer out of that phone call. Besides, he had lied to me and to Jason, I couldn't forgive him, and giving him a call would be doing just that."
Some of the character development was a little inconsistent and choppy at times, but I really enjoyed the storyline and the way things occurred. As always, I loved the lessons learned. There was a little mystery going on, but it was pretty obscure until the end and I would have liked to have seen that developed a little more. The themes of family and money were pretty consistent to real life, which made it very enjoyable.
language--3-4 words (mostly "s")
violence--talk of murder, not descriptive
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