2 October 2012, Henry Holt. ARC from Baker and Taylor
Reviewed at Young Adult Books Central
After Ricki's mother takes off, her grandmother gets tired of caring for her and hands her over to her father. Ricki's father abandoned her when she was young, and now works as a bail bonds enforcer, so his life is not really conducive to watching a young teenage girl. Ricki goes along with him on his travels to pick up parolees who haven't made their court dates. Usually they come quietly, but when they pick up seventeen-year-old Ian, he gives them a lot of trouble, escaping, stealing their keys, and making them travel out of their way to find him again. Still, Ricki is attracted to him and helps him out a bit, until she realizes that he can't really help her find her mother, and that she will have to stick with her dad even though he isn't perfect.
Strengths: This was an intriguing novel to read, and very different from anything else I've read. I think that Picky Reader will enjoy this one, because it certainly has a lot of problems.
Weaknesses: Definitely more YA. Two f-bombs late in the book, and Ricki makes such supremely poor choices. At first I thought this was unrealistic-- how could she be so stupid?-- but then decided that given her rocky past, this might be exactly how she reacted. Older teens will definitely like this one.