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.
very well written - an exchange student gone awry but much more. Very clever
There are so many coming of age books out there, but this one truly exceeded my expectations. It's awkward at first to see her journey with her new family, but the main character (Lou) grows on you. Lou meets a variety of people while she is in the U.S. and tries to fabricate a life that is not her own so she will fit into her white picket fenced family which is a polar opposite lifestyle from her family in Australia. It is painful to watch her make mistakes, but the book has character and is difficult to put down!!
This book was a great, fast read! The book itself is a little water logged, as it got snowed on, but is perfectly readable. The story is about a gifted girl trying to get out of her dead end life in Australia by being an exchange student in America. As someone who works with at-risk children, it really spoke to me about how even highly intelligent people cannot easily overcome the damage of poor parenting. Though the ending was a little brusk, I loved this book!
The only kudos I have for this book is that MJ Hyland completed a novel. That said - I didn't much like the book, nor the story. The tone of the book didn't fit the location of the story. The MC is an exchange student from Australia who comes to live in the midwest, specifically, a suburb of Chicago. Here is where the whole story goes wrong. The dialogue is completely absurd. No one speaks this way in the midwest. The fictional family she comes to live with are cardboard. The MC is a needy girl who is already damaged. She expects her new family to send her to a sleep clinic. Nobody is every going to do this in real life. The MC is too quirky, boring and very irregular. She bored me to pieces. I struggled to finish the story and even that did not have a resolution. Disappointed.