Seventeen year-old Abby Lunde and her family are living on the streets. They had a normal life back in Omaha, but thanks to her mother’s awful mistake, they had to leave what little they had behind for a new start in Rochester. Abby tries to be an average teenager—fitting into school, buoyed by dreams of a boyfriend, college, and a career in music. But Minnesota winters are unforgiving, and so are many teenagers.
Her stepdad promises to put a roof over their heads, but times are tough for everyone and Abby is doing everything she can to keep her shameful secret from her new friends. The divide between rich and poor in high school is painfully obvious, and the stress of never knowing where they're sleeping or where they’ll find their next meal is taking its toll on the whole family.
As secrets are exposed and the hope for a home fades, Abby knows she must trust those around her to help. But will her friends let her down the same way they did back home, or will they rise to the challenge to help them find a normal life?
This is a book that every high school student should read - a truly heartbreaking, gut-wrenching tale of hardship that no one, especially a teenager, should have to endure. This was so perfectly and beautifully written that I did not want to put it down. I adored Abby and felt every ounce of distraught and discomfort, shed every tear she did and experienced all the joy that came from the love and friendships around her. I understood her frustrations and wanted to vent them out on her mother just as she did. I truly did walk in her shoes as the words flowed seamlessly page by page. I was in awe of sweet and sincere Zach, who by the way, I know is too good to really exist but I hope that somewhere out there in our current social-media, cyberbullying, full of judgment world, there is a teenage boy as admirable as him.
Is the ending full of acceptance and non-judgment realistic considering our current social climate, especially within the young adult community? Probably not, but it’s what we all should hope and aspire for it to become. As a 27-year-old reading this, I’m 10 years too late to fully relate to the high school/social media/friendship side of this story, but it made me grateful for all that I currently have in my life and made me rethink and reevaluate some things as well - like when I go hop in my hot shower tonight in my heated home with a belly full of the hot dinner I just ate, I’ll count my blessings because not everyone can.
I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.