A wealthy blended family of white siblings purposely misses their connecting flight as a way of protesting their parents’ divorce in this debut by screenwriters Andelson and Meyer.
After 10-year-old Poppy lets slip to her older half brother and half sister, Amos and Flynn, that she overheard their parents are planning to divorce, the angry trio decides to ditch meeting their parents in Bora Bora and get off the plane in LA. Luckily, Flynn’s rich, Indian-American summer-camp crush, Neel Khan, lives nearby and can rescue them. So they dump their cellphones and embark on a three-day adventure that includes both a visit to Disneyland and the loss of Flynn’s virginity. The sibs’ complicated past is relayed in flashbacks: Flynn’s dad and Amos’ mom had an affair, divorced their spouses, married each other, and had Poppy. Stepsiblings Flynn and Amos, only a year apart, dote on Poppy and are beginning to have romantic feelings for each other. But unfortunately, their voices are so indistinguishable that it’s often difficult to decipher whose parent did what and who is crushing on whom. And the relentlessly clichéd dialogue (“ ‘What’s your problem, Amos?’ I fire back, trying not to let my voice crack. / ‘I don’t have a problem’ / ‘Right.’ / ‘You know what? I take it back. I do have a problem,’ he says. And then, outrageously: 'You. You’re my problem, Flynn’ ”) doesn’t help much in individuating them.
Readers looking for a guilty-pleasure 1-percent read can do better than this Gossip Girl retread. (Fiction. 12-15)