by Amy Kathleen Ryan
The paperback version of this book will be out in January. Kristi Carmichael has always been able to read people's minds, but when her father returns home two years after he abandoned Kristi and her mother, and Gusty, the popular boy Kristi has a crush on, starts showing an interest in her, Kristi begins to wonder if she can read people at all. (BWI annotation.)
This was one of the best books I read in 2009. I love angry, gutsy, flawed heroines who eventually work out their issues. Deep inside, Kristi isn’t very secure, but she covers it well with an in-your-face attitude, thick eyeliner, and the unique clothes she’s made out of such things as torn umbrellas. She also thinks she’s able to read minds, which came about a couple of years ago, after her dad divorced her mother and left town. Mindreading is a double-edged sword for Kristi. Who wouldn’t want that ability? Yet, it seems like no one ever thinks anything nice about her.
It’s especially hurtful when she “hears” her former best friend’s brother, Gusty, on whom she is secretly crushing, think “sick,” whenever he looks at her. There is plenty of other plot material in this book, but in the end, Kristi discovers what Gusty meant by “sick." She also comes to realize that maybe she doesn’t have special powers, and that’s not so bad. I enjoyed watching her become less hostile and more trusting as the book wore on.