Typical Jessie: I guess my life was crazy even before the day it really lost its mind. I just didnt think it was. I did think my friend Chelseas life was a little weird. Her parents had been married to each other for twenty years and her family sat down at the table to eat supper together every night... I definitely considered my friend Marcuss life to be strange. His family went on a two-week vacation every single summer to places like Key West and the Grand Canyon... Totally off the wall.
When Jessie's mom is sent to the hospital for gulping down a bunch of pills, Jessie is left with her dad. Who she had thought was dead. Her plan is simple: drive him nuts until he sends her back home. Except it might be nicer in some ways in Florida: like motorcycles, the beach and a book that she can actually read. Can there really be a relief from the hamster wheel in her head? Can she just be herself, without always covering up the fact that she has ADHD?
Like most of Nancy Rue's books, Motorcycles, Sushi and One Strange Book is awesome. I love how Jessie changes from the I-have-to-hide-this girl to someone who more or less embraces herself as she is. RL-the book that she found herself reading despite her disability- is basically a modern-day paraphrase of the Bible. It can mysteriously be clear when it's time to read and blur when the reading is enough for the day. Although a book like that isnt really out there, Nancy Rue does show us that parts of the Bible can stand out to us too.
This is the first of the Real Life series for teens. The others are "Boyfriends, Burritos and an Ocean of Trouble," "Tournaments, Cocoa and One Wrong Move" and "Limos, Lattes, and My Life on the Fringe." They can all be read as stand-alones, since the only thread is the RL book that they find when they need it and leave for someone else to find.
What I liked: As "Christian fiction" it came across well, avoiding the two roadside ditches of (a) being heavy-handed preachy, and on the other side (b) being a secular story dressed in a religious facade. Even though it is a fantasy, it still has a high credibility factor.
What I have reservations about: When the publisher labels it "teen," believe them. Adults who like the youthful aura of the "teen/young adult" genre may find a lot to like, but those who do not want to spend that much time inside a teenage brain won't.
Fifteen-year-old Jessie Hatcher has a system to deal with her with her mom's bipolar disorder and her own ADHDÃ¢â¬âuntil her father shows up. Her dead father. Apparently, mom told a little lie. And on the day her dad comes to meet her, mom ends up in the hospital. And now Jesse's only relative is her dad, who lives in Florida, far away from all her friends. So Jesse goes, but she isn't staying, even when she starts to like her job at the local sushi restaurant, the cute guy who works at the bike shop, and the mysterious book she "stole" from the airport.
Loved it! And let me just say, I could relate to Jessie's randomness and mood swings. This is a really fun story about a girl who is searching. She's had to depend on herself for so long that it's hard for her to trust anyone. But her dad isn't like her mom at all. It's weird for Jesse to have an adult who cares. The writing is funny and thoughtful. The characters are fabulous, real, and struggling like the rest of us. I flew through the book and hope I'll be able to read all the books in this series. Highly recommended.
When I saw a new teen series coming (from author Nancy Rue) I flipped! I believe I have read every good contemporary teen books there was so I'm always happy to see another one. This book did not disappoint. It starts when Jessie, who has ADHD, freaks when her father, who she believed was dead, shows up on her front door. When circumstances force her to move in with him, she tries to show her "bad" side so she can get back home. So she steals a book, which when she opens says it was meant for her to find it. This creeps her out and Jessie leaves the book untouched for a while. But when she reads it, she finds it tells the story of salvation, which she desperately wants. Add that with a little romance, a great dad who owns motorcycles, and the secrets of sushi, you get one fantastic teen read! Way to go Nancy Rue for another winner.
Nancy Rue has started a great new series here. It may be for young adults but not too young. This first book deals with ADHD, bipolar disorder, parental suicide and much, much more. The second book dives into dating abuse (older boyfriend beating up his younger girlfriend) and takes it all the way through the trial. Heavy issues, but very well written. Great characters and realistic scenarios. For young people in high school and college these books are very appropriate, but I think it'll be awhile before my 14 year old, homeschooled daughter will be reading them. I am a huge sushi fan and found the insight into the sushi restaurant fascinating. In the second book Nancy gives us a great insight into surfing - that was also very interesting.