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Release Date: March 22, 2011
Hardcover: 224 pages
Age Group: Young Adult
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Janie Gorman wants to be normal. The problem with that: she’s not. She’s smart and creative and a little bit funky. She’s also an unwilling player in her parents’ modern-hippy, let’s-live-on-a-goat-farm experiment (regretfully, instigated by a younger, much more enthusiastic Janie). This, to put it simply, is not helping Janie reach that “normal target.” She has to milk goats every day…and endure her mother’s pseudo celebrity in the homemade-life, crunchy mom blogosphere. Goodbye the days of frozen lasagna and suburban living, hello crazy long bus ride to high school and total isolation—and hovering embarrassments of all kinds. The fresh baked bread is good…the threat of homemade jeans, not so much.
It would be nice to go back to that old suburban life…or some grown up, high school version of it, complete with nice, normal boyfriends who wear crew neck sweaters and like social studies. So, what’s wrong with normal? Well, kind of everything. She knows that, of course, why else would she learn bass and join Jam Band, how else would she know to idolize infamous wild-child and high school senior Emma (her best friend Sarah’s older sister), why else would she get arrested while doing a school project on a local freedom school (jail was not part of the assignment). And, why else would she kind of be falling in "like" with a boy named Monster—yes, that is his real name. Janie was going for normal, but she missed her mark by about ten miles…and we mean that as a compliment.
No one can figure out where the terrible smell is coming from, but everyone on the bus this morning can smell it and has an opinion.
When I first started reading this book, I kept asking myself, "Okay... where is this going?" I mean, it drew me in with its writing. Frances is a great writer. Everything flows smoothly and you read threw it pretty fast. I was able to finish it with off and on reading throughout the day. It's very short, which you will definitely notice when you pick it up. It was a kind of a weird book, which is hard to explain, but it was enjoyable later on.
I didn't like Janie at first, she was always complaining about everything and it was really annoying. She really shouldn't complain about something after she had had the idea in the first place! (You'll understand if you read it.) The other characters were pretty awesome, all of them had their own quirky personalities.
Like Sarah! She was cool in the beginning and I liked what she was for, but some parts of her personality really annoyed me. Like how she had this idea and was about to go for it, but then decided she didn't really like it in the end and just got really bored while her best friend, Janie, became interested in it. That drove me insane!
I think my favorite character was Monster. He was awesome! And who wouldn't want their parents to name them Monster? No. Seriously. It's on his birth certificate, he can get a copy and show you if you like! =)
Despite not really being too impressed or interesting in the beginning of the novel (I would of probably put it down if the writing didn't flow as well as it did!) it really grew on me and I started liking it. I really struggled with my rating for it. I liked it, but didn't love it or really, really like it. Which I'm pretty sad about because it has great potential.
Overall, it was a fun and quick read. I really like the history Frances added to the story, it was fun to read and I'm glad Janie found herself and finally started being who she was towards the end of the book. She wasn't so bad in the end. I would recommend it if you would like a short read that isn't too bad.
The cover is gorgeous! I love it. It really fits it well! I love the background and the girl with the bass standing in the middle of a field.