Reviewed by Marta Morrison for TeensReadToo.com
Ronalda Page, aka Ronnie, has had the perfect childhood. She lives at a mountain resort on the west coast of Canada. She has a loving mom, a beautiful older sister, and a doting father. She loves her life.
Then, after her thirteenth summer, tragedy strikes and her father is taken from them. In order to survive, they must sell the resort to Louis Moss, an old family friend who Ronnie doesn't trust. They then move to a small town near them and try to adjust to the loss of their father and husband.
Ronnie's mother becomes an alcoholic, and her sister takes up with Louis. Ronnie feels alone and not wanted. She is malnourished and ignored. Then, on a fateful night, Louis Moss is killed and Ronnie is framed by the local police for the murder and is tried as an adult.
The treatment of Ronnie by the police is brutal and is the most interesting part of the story. I felt that Ronnie simply reacted to the events of her life and never fought. Even when she goes on trial, she just lets things happen to her. She never lets authorities know what a hell she is living in and never trusts anyone to help her. During part of the story she is set up by a girl that she doesn't really like to let a boy make out with her and thinks that this is wrong but doesn't stop him. I mean, she is told to go behind the gym after school and she does, even though she knows what will happen. She doesn't like that her mother is not there, but she doesn't even try to make life livable. I had a hard time thinking that she didn't know how to cook when she was adept at living on her own in the mountains.
Even with these problems, though, it is a story which will make you think and be thankful for the wonderful legal system we have now.