The Fortunes of Indigo Skye
Eighteen-year-old Indigo Skye feels like she has it all - a waitress job she loves, an adorable refrigerator-delivery-guy boyfriend, and a home life that's slightly crazed but rich in love. Until a mysterious man at the restaurant leaves her a 2.5 million-dollar tip, and her life as she knew it is transformed.
At first its amazing: a hot new car, enormous flat-screen TV, and presents for everyone she cares about. She laughs off the warnings that money changes people, that they come to rely on what they have instead of who they are. Because it won't happen...not to her. Or will it? What do you do when you can buy anything your heart desires -- but what your heart desires can't be bought?
This is the story of a girl who gets rich, gets lost, and ultimately finds her way back - if not to where she started, then to where she can start again.
Indigo works at Carerras every morning before school. Some of the regulars have Indigo-given funny names like Joe Awful Coffee and Funny Coyote; some just go by their given names such as Trina and Nick. But every now and then someone new becomes a regular: Vespa Guy--well dressed, solitary, coffee only, who rides up and away on his Vespa scooter. Of course, his regularity and silence pique everyones interest. When Indigo, a firm anti-smoker, sees him with cigarettes, she reprimands him, warning him about the dangers of cigarettes. They get to talking and he tells her how hes tired of trying to please everyone else and not pleasing himself. She, in turn, tells him that he must do things to make himself happy. Hes so taken with her caring, that several days later he leaves her a large envelope. Insidea $2.5 million tip. It turns out Vespa Guy developed a major internet search engine and hes loaded.
Indigo is dumbfounded. Overnight shes a millionaire. Everyone has a different opinion of what to do with the money: her mom, her dad, her twin brother, her sister, her boyfriend. She vows that the money will not change her. But, will it?
The Fortunes of Indigo Skye is a fun read. The characters are great. Indigo is her own person, unique, fun, opinionated. Trevor, her boyfriend, is into his Mustang and a theoretical business venture called Nunderwear, underwear with sayings spoofing religion. Her divorced parents are typical parents; pressured, concerned, warm. While, Ill admit that the ending is somewhat predictable, talented author Deb Caletti (Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, The Nature of Jade and Wild Roses) gets Indigo there in an unusual way. Of course, Indigo learns a lot about life, love and friends, but thats OK. It works. As I was reading the book, I sometimes felt like I was there-that the events were real. If you are looking for a book to put a smile on your face, read The Fortunes of Indigo Skye. If youre looking for good, enjoyable, well-written books, read any of Deb Calettis works.
Indigo thinks there's a correlation between a person's order and his or her personality. (The book's first sentence reads: "You can tell a lot about people from what they order for breakfast.") When a stranger drives up to the diner on a Vespa, then walks in and orders nothing but coffee, Indigo is intrigued. The gentleman is polite and well-dressed, and he leaves behind a tip that's more than the coffee. The waitress and the regulars are naturally curious about this quiet guy.
Indigo's parents are divorced. Her father lives in Hawaii with his new wife, Jennifer, while Indigo shares her home with her twin brother Severin, her younger sister Bex, her absentminded mother, a chatty parrot named Chico, and a sneaky cat named Freud. The snappy dialogue that zings back and forth between the Skyes makes it apparent that they love each other and know each other better than anyone else. Even though money has been tight since their father/husband left, their home is a happy one.
"Vespa guy" comes into Carrera's a few more times, politely ordering coffee and saying very little otherwise. When she spies a pack of cigarettes in the pocket of his expensive suede jacket, Indigo can't help but tell him about the dangers of smoking. Her words are motivated by concern, not by moral superiority, and she hopes he knows she is being genuine, not judgmental.
A short while later, she gets a phone call from her boss, Jane, telling her that Vespa guy left an envelope for his waitress. Indigo doesn't open the envelope immediately upon receipt, partially due to other things going on, partially because she wants to delay any sort of letdown feeling. Nothing could match the anticipation she's feeling (or so she thinks), and once she looks inside, the wonder and the excitement of waiting will be gone. Later that night, when she finally opens the envelope, she discovers a check made out to her for two and a half million dollars.
At first, she doesn't quite believe it. Confused, excited, and stunned, she wants to find Vespa guy, thank him, and give him back his check. She can't accept that much money from someone she barely knows. Meanwhile, each of her family members and friends have different ideas for how she can spend the money. Her mom wants her to go to college. Her boyfriend wants to fix his car. Her sister wants to donate money to relief efforts. For a short time, Indigo allows herself to buy her family nice things they've never had - and some things they'll never even use - but ultimately, she feels more burdened than blessed by the money.
When she finally tracks down Vespa guy - which is quite a journey, literally - to thank him and tell him she can't accept his generous gift, her refusal of the money only makes him more certain that she deserves it. He explains why he gave it to her in the first place: because she thinks "why me?" instead of "why not me?"
This book is packed with unique, memorable folks. In Indigo and her family, Deb Caletti has created some of her most down-to-earth characters. Indigo gently teases her mother about her "anxiety-denial-distraction." Indigo's twin Severin is sensible and considerate, and her loyal boyfriend Trevor is so in tune with all of their lives that he is almost part of the family. Little sister Bex is compassionate and loveable. After watching news reports on CNN, she worries about those who have lost their homes due to natural disasters. Indigo's friend Melanie, who is sweet but has always had money, is quick to think Indigo can and wants to do everything Melanie does once that she finally can afford it. The quadripeds really don't care about the money; it doesn't make Chico less chatty or Freud less sneaky.
Indigo considers many of the Irregulars, along with her boss, to be her friends. Jane, the owner of Carrera's (and of Jack, an adorable dog) hates to pull the boss card, but will if she has to. The regulars are all older than Indigo. Each has his or her own backstory and quirks. Nick Harrison has been haunted by rumors since his wife fell down a flight of stairs and died two years ago. Tattooed Leroy is perhaps thirty years old, yet he's anxious to retire. Joe used to be a boxer. Funny Coyote and Trina, both in their late twenties, are the resident ladies. Funny's a poet who has no problem cleaning her plate or talking about her "chemical imbalance," while flirty Trina dresses to the nines and drives a classic Thunderbird.
If you couldn't already tell, I really enjoyed this book. There's more whimsy here than in some of Caletti's previous novels, but never to an unrealistic degree. This isn't yet another rags-to-riches tale, nor "a simple story of money can't buy happiness." This book is about a girl on the cusp of adulthood who actually likes her life and doesn't really want it to change that much. She would rather be poor and happy than wealthy and miserable. Indigo has a great set of values and a great sense of self. Those are her true fortunes.
Let's start with Indigo, the main character. She's supposed to be
eighteen. The book starts at the end of her senior year. I really didn't
see her as eighteen. At times she was older, at times she was younger.
She could be extremely observant, cynical, and wiser than her years at
times, especially in the beginning, but she could be whiny, dense, and
unable to see her own life at others, towards the end. I definitely
liked her better in the beginning, when she was just a normal girl with a
normal waitress job and a normal boyfriend. That was interesting to me,
her life and the people in it.
Then, near the halfway point, she suddenly gets 2.5 million dollars.
Which WHOA is a lot of money. I mean, what do you DO with all of that
money? Well, the rest of the book is about that: what Indigo does with
the money and how she handles it. Except that felt false to me. I had a
hard time believing that as soon as Indigo got money she turned into
this whiny ten year old. That she would blow it on things like a singing
soap dispenser. I don't know, maybe it's because that's definitely not
how I would handle it, so I had a hard time believing that anyone would
act like that.
The first half of the book I really enjoyed, the second half, not so
much. Overall Indigo was a good main character, but at times I just
wanted to smack her over the head. It wasn't a bad book by any means,
just not as good as it could have been.
Indigos life changes drastically when a stranger comes into Carreras, the restaurant where she works. After barely conversing with someone dubbed Vespa Guy, she finds herself two and a half million dollars richer. But, as Indigo soon finds out, money doesnt solve everything. And sometimes it can make things even more complicated.
Deb Caletti yet again creates a beautiful young adult novel in The Fortunes of Indigo Skye. I absolutely love her attention for detail her characters and the actions she gives them are so incredibly lifelike. She even gives attributes to the familys pet bird. It's not just about these particular characters, though. Deb has a certain understanding of humans in general, which makes her books that much more impacting. You can't help but fall in love with these characters; they're just too flawless and real.
Aside from the characters, Deb displays powerful messages throughout her writing. Some are subtle, and some are blatant, but theyre all of importance. I love how easily she can mix humor and depth into a novel, making it the perfect blend of YA goodness. This isnt the first novel of Calettis Ive read, and its certainly not the first to impress me, either.
Indigo Skye is pretty pleased with her life. She has an amazing boyfriend, she loves being a waitress at the homey neighborhood restaurant Carreras, and while her family may not be well off they sure are filled with love. While some situations may not be ideal, Indigo knows she will always be supported by those she loves. Whether it is her direct family or her family over at Carreras (also known as the Irregulars) she knows she always has someone to turn to. All is good until a new man starts coming into Carreras. Indigo finds him very strange because he only orders coffee and just stares out the window. One day Indigo finds a pack of cigarettes in his pocket and tells him off, as she cannot stand a smoker. She thinks shes scared him off until she gets a phone call from her boss telling her the mysterious man left her an envelope. Indigo is puzzled as to what lays inside, but is sure that it will be disappointing. The contents are anything but disappointing, actually they are stupendously unbelievable. Enclosed is a check for two and a half million dollars. Indigo is thrilled, but doesnt know much about having money. She is constantly warned that money changes people, but she doesnt think it could ever happen to her.
This was a completely brilliant and amazing book. I fell in love with it from the very first sentence. Not only was the storyline amazing, but all the characters, not just Indigo, had great personalities. Even the characters that you only met once or twice felt so real and I could automatically tell whether I liked them or not. Indigo was definitely my favorite character though. She was extremely sarcastic and witty. There were many, many times that I found myself laughing out loud at comments that Indigo would make or even her actions. What was also so wonderful about the story was its originality. It wasnt your generic rags-to-riches everyones rich and happy in the end story. It was so much more. While Indigo did receive lots of money she learned more how to deal with it and become a better person. I felt that Indigo really underwent a change from the beginning of the book to the end, which was really neat. Deb Calettis writing was fresh and amazing. Having never read anything of hers before, but having heard good things, I expected a good read, maybe even a great read. Instead I got a stupendous, heartwarming, and hard to forget novel. I will definitely be reading many more of her books. I would highly recommend this book to everyone as it truly was unforgettable. Also I definitely think that Sarah Dessen fans will love Indigos story as well.
Eighteen-year-old Indigo Skye feels like she has it all - a waitress job she loves, an adorable refrigerator-delivery-guy boyfriend, and a home life that's slightly crazed but rich in love. Until a mysterious man at the restaurant leaves her a 2.5 million-dollar tip, and her life as she knew it is transformed. At first its amazing: a hot new car, enormous flat-screen TV, and presents for everyone she cares about. She laughs off the warnings that money changes people, that they come to rely on what they have instead of who they are. Because it won't happen...not to her. Or will it? What do you do when you can buy anything your heart desires -- but what your heart desires can't be bought? This is the story of a girl who gets rich, gets lost, and ultimately finds her way back - if not to where she started, then to where she can start again.
Indigo Skye is the most original, down-to-earth of a character I have read in a long time. She has attitude, empathy, integrity, and learns to get loyalty. Caletti has written a novel that anybody would laugh with. The witty bunch of characters and descriptions is flawless. When reading this novel I was wishing I was in their world, I was wishing I had the kind of relationships Indigo does with all the diverting characters in this novel.
Caletti went where she hasn't gone yet from her other novels. Hawaii, California, porsches, tattoos, tsunamis, etcetera. She's brought something to this novel she hasn't brought to her four other novels. This book was yet another distinguished tale that I know I won't forget. Well done.