Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 66
A picture will last longer
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Josie Saint-Martin and her mother have lived an itinerant lifestyle ever since they left the small Rhode Island seaside town where they lived with her grandmother. Now, as her senior year approaches, her grandmother and aunt have left to work in Nepal, leaving Josie's mother in charge of the bookstore which has been in the family for ages. Her cousin, Evie, will also be with them. One of the first people Josie meets when she comes back to town is her former best friend, Lucky Karras. The two had been inseparable, but when Josie left town suddenly, Lucky's life spiraled downward. He was involved in a bad fire, and carries scars from that, although his family's fortunes have improved and they now run a successful yacht repair service. There are some priveleged kids in town who go to a private school, and one of them, Adrian, shows up at a party showing a nude photo of Josie's mother as a teen. The Saint-Martin woman have a reputation, and also a "love curse" that seems to follow them, and Josie feels awkward and angry. When she and Lucky leave the party together, she ends up throwing a rock that accidentally shatters a large window at Adrian's family's department store. Lucky takes the blame, and Josie feels guilty. She tries to help him pay for the window, even though she's not making a lot of money herself. Most of her income comes from a photo hosting web site where she displays her art work; this also leads to rumors that the nude photo came from her site. Josie and Lucky spar back and forth, and both have a lot of anger about the way their lives have gone. Josie worries about her mother's erratic behavior, her cousin Evie's choices of friends, and her own future. Her father is a successful photographer in California, and Josie hopes to graduate from high school and go to join him when her mother fulfills her own wish of moving to Florida. Josie doesn't speak much to her father, but hopes to impress him, although she is unable to get an internship. When her relationship with Lucky takes an interesting turn, will it jeopardize her future?
Good Points
This is a solidly young adult book because of the high levels of angst Josie exhibits; she doesn't get along with her mother, she worries about her cousin, she can't seem to stop making choices that make her the subject of gossip in town, and she has trouble communicating with Lucky in a straight forward manner. There is also more romantic activity in the book than middle grade readers would be comfortable with.

Josie's love of photography is interesting, and she has a camera collection that will intrigue anyone familiar with actual cameras. Each chapter starts with the description of one of her pieces of art; she specializes in pictures of signs from her small town. There is some information about using light to take good pictures, the web site hosting her art, and a few other details that will speak to fans of Rushby's Shooting Stars, Nelson's Hot Cocoa Hearts, and Bauer's classic Thwonk.
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