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After Michaela’s single mother dies in a tragic accident, Michaela is sent to live with her bachelor father. However, she discovers something unbelievable upon meeting him in the hospital; he has a family, and Michaela is the product of an affair. Michaela is immediately taken to her new house and meets Emery, Gabe, and Cody (her three siblings). Though Michaela is devastated by her mother’s death, she barely has any time to grieve. After moving in, she navigates new and strange relationships with her siblings, some easier than others. In addition to leaving her home, she’s thrown into a new school near her new neighborhood. On the bright side, she finds out about a production that her school is hosting- Into the Woods, her mother’s favorite musical. As Michaela makes friends at school and at home, she begins to navigate her new life while remembering her old life with her mother.
I liked the characters in the story because they’re all multi-dimensional. For example, Emery is angry and hurt because her life is thrown upside down after Michaela’s arrival. However, Emery is also sympathetic towards Michaela’s struggles because she understands that her father’s affair affected both of them. I also liked the situations that the characters encounter because they cause compelling (and sometimes tense) relationships between certain characters. For example, Emery being forced to share a room with Michaela immediately creates a strained relationship between the sisters. I was interested to see how they would resolve the problem. The writing style is good, and the story is easy to read. The characters also have more or less realistic dialogue. One thing I disliked was the last part of the book- I felt that it was rushed. Otherwise, the main premise of the story is interesting and well written.
One memorable thing is the plot line of Michaela being interested in the school’s musical. Throughout the story, I learned a lot about how high school theater and musicals are conducted. This also made the story seem a bit more realistic.
Reviewed by Vaidehi J. M., Twin Hickory Library