Author: Will Weaver
Publication Date: 2003
Length: 232 pages
Warning: This book was so awful that I need to include spoilers, in order to walk you through the horribleness. Trust me, you don't want to read the book anyway.
At the beginning of this story, Jed's life is going well. He's got a girlfriend (who apparently has a lot of qualities Jed doesn't like, but whose body makes up for it; yes, sadly, I'm serious), he made the tennis team, and his dad's letting him drive the fancy car. Yay. But then, a "punk chick" with pink hair comes along! She tells Jed that his dad is sleeping with her mom, and he'd better stop it or she'll go public with the knowledge!
By this point, I already hated the book, but decided to finish it because it was really short so I wouldn't be wasting too much time. Plus, finishing it would give me more material for my scathing review! So, by this point in the book, Jed has already established himself as all the bad qualities of teenage boys without any of the good ones. He's demonstrated that he doesn't know the difference between punk and goth (he refers to Gertrude as both). And overall I just don't like him at all.
Moving on. Jed and Gertrude email back and forth a bit, and she sends him increasingly scandalous pictures of his dad and her mom together. Then, suddenly, she uses a semicolon. Jed thinks to himself, wait! Punk chicks don't know stuff about punctuation!
So, the next time they meet up, he follows her. And while she's driving, she takes off her wig! Jed keeps following her to a nearby small town, where he sees her get out of her car, and she's not a punk chick at all; she's just a normal girl! (He knew, of course, because of the semicolon.)
So, continuing on, Jed confronts his father about the cheating, and his parents break up. Jed grows closer with Laura (Gertrude was just her punk name), due to their shared sadness. They start to get the feels for each other.
Then, Laura's little sister runs away, via kayak, to Canada. Jed and Laura go after her, catch up to her, and the three of them camp out on the riverbank to wait out a big storm. During the night, the storm gets bad, and trees start falling down. While trying to rescue her sister, Laura gets crushed by a tree. Now, if you're going to kill of a character, this would be an ok time to do it. But Laura doesn't die; her legs are crushed, but they call a rescue helicopter and it comes and they get her out and take her away. But then, suddenly all is silent! The helicopter has stopped working! The doctor that's with them says something along the lines of "oh no, god no!", which had me giggling inappropriately. The helicopter falls into the river, and Laura is dead.
I'm sorry, but what? What a weird way to kill of a character. How often do helicopters fall out of the sky?
The rest of the book is basically Jed being all sad, and playing a game that's like the SIMS. The family he's created is not doing so well, but gradually he starts to improve their lives; this seems to be some kind of metaphor for his own life, I guess? Anyway, then he cries some more and finally says that he loved Laura, and cries a bit more, and the end.
1 star. (And that's on the Goodreads scale, which doesn't even have a 0 star option.) This book was at times actually painful to read.
This book counts towards the Mount TBR Reading Challenge.