Jude is a character I had no issues connecting to. Sometimes I related to her so much that I kind of wanted to cry. She's the youngest child which means not only is she left to deal with everything on her own but she also has to live in the path that her sisters have already walked. She gets their hand-me-down clothes and their hand-me-down heartbreaks. I felt so bad the way her friends treated her and I respected the fact that her family came before their opinions no matter what. I absolutely loved what she was trying to do for her dad with the motorcycle. As a total daddy's girl, I really enjoyed Jude's relationship with her father. It was sweet and realistic. Jude has great values and I really liked and respected her.
That Vargas Boy:
Okay, guys, Emilio is HOT. Sarah Ockler put together the perfect YA boy: rides a motorcycle (and fixes them), has a bad reputation, a tragic story, and loves his mom. Jude has taken an oath to her sisters that she will stay away from all Vargas boys, but that becomes pretty difficult for her when she realizes that Emilio is not like his brothers. He is unfailingly sweet. He helps Jude out the best he can, even if he doesn't necessarily know what's going on. He doesn't judge her or her family, even though sometime they deserve it. Most importantly, he's always there for Jude. Simply said, I love him. I love the relationship between the two of them.
So, Jude's dad has Alzheimer's, and his memory gets worse everyday. For some reason, when he thinks about his motorcycle, though, his memory becomes crystal clear. In an attempt to help restore her father's memory, Jude makes it her mission to get his old motorcycle fixed up. Enter hot boy, insensitive friends, infuriating but well-meaning family members, and old western movies. It's an emotional story line with perfect pacing, leaving me completely engaged throughout the entire book.
This book rocked my hypothetical socks. It's a great addition to the contemporary YA world, one that will stand out in my mind for a while. I connected to it very strongly, and even if you don't find the same connection, I guarantee you will find something in this book that worms its way into your heart. This is a book I'd most definitely re-read.