This is the story of Kate - the perfect daughter of a widowed minister who is the top of her class, having an above 4.0 GPA, being the best runner on the cross country team, excelling at math and science and candidate for MIT. She is so sure of her abilities that she has not applied for another school besides MIT. She takes care of her family, is the mom to her dad and brother, super volunteer at her church and overall brainiac. Then things start piling on - the fact that she wasn't an early selection for MIT, that her nemesis suffers some unforeseen circumstances that force Kate's family to take them in, that her plans for the future are disintegrating beneath and all around her, and at any minute, she could lose it all.
I loved this book. I want to give this to all my students (mostly girls) who seem to think they need to conquer the world RIGHT NOW. This book was written for those who I see who stress if their A isn't at 100%, if they don't get the lead in the play, qualify for state, take all AP classes, get all their awards in church and can bake everything on the side. Again, Anderson captures the voice of a teen perfectly, seems to understand teens more than most psychologists could imagine and has a writing style that is stellar and addicting.
My author crush on Laurie Halse Anderson continues.