A Twitter-obsessed teen gets some real friends in this appealing story about family and friendship.
Eighteen-year-old Morgan knows nothing about her dad, not even his name. Her mom simply won’t talk about him. But when her mom winds up in the hospital, she finally lets the information slip. Estranged from schoolmates after an embarrassing video goes viral, Morgan meets talkative Amy at work and reluctantly becomes friends with Adam, her supervisor. When Morgan learns her dad’s address in British Columbia, Amy talks Morgan and Adam into a road trip to find him, leading to a classic journey to understanding. In a narrative punctuated by Tweets, hashtags and text-message transcripts, Gurtler keeps the focus as much on Morgan’s friendships as on her evolving family matters, with an eventual emphasis on finding ways to forgive. Each character has distinct flaws, including Morgan and both her parents, giving the book a psychologically realistic flavor. Chatty Amy comes across as the most interesting character as she propels Morgan to look beneath the surfaces of her friendships. As Morgan becomes more involved with Adam and Amy, she begins to realize the depth of her relationships in an emotionally satisfying climax.
Well done, sensitive and real. (Fiction. 12-17)