This was the type of book that was very fun to read and easy to imagine as a movie, but at the same time I feel that if it had been a movie I would have liked it more. It also bothered me that Lou is sixteen and is never turned down when she goes out to buy cigarettes or gin. It's little details like that that bother me, and the way this girl is never ever asked for her ID itched in the back of my head while I read this book. Still, it was fun to read.
this is a keeper... very believable told from the perspective of a teenager abroad... good detail and interesting story line...
Sixteen-year-old Australian exchange student Louise (Lou) is ecstatic that she has left behind her rough family, who mock her for using big words, and their tiny flat choked with cigarette smoke. Placed in a wealthy Chicago suburb, in a pristine McMansion with the Harding family, Lou is stunned by the glossy perfection: "There are so many healthy, good-looking teenagers that a few crooked teeth, or short, fat fingers, suddenly take on the proportions of deformities." The Hardings are earnest and warm, but Lou's high-strung insecurity and wary independence begin to widen the cracks in her host family's strained domesticity, particularly when Lou turns increasingly to booze and drugs.
An interesting story. Easy to love and hate the main character.