Daphne is 14 years old, ending her 8th grade year, and shes experiencing the horror that comes with being fourteen. Daphne deals with the same issues that most of us who have been through high school have dealt with before. She has pimples; shes a bit overweight; her parents are divorced; she never sees her father; and her mother is in a funk and is distant when shes not working
Daphne lives with her mother and her twin brothers in a small house that contains old furniture, is dimly lit, and is quite depressing. All except for her room. Daphnes room is hers and she has made it her own by covering her walls with about 1,000 pictures of her favorite band, Aquarium. This is the band music is constantly in her CD player, and that causes her to buy any tabloid magazine that mentions them (think of this as the modern Twilight fascination and addiction that many seem to have, or the Backstreet Boys/Nsync obsession that us 90s kids had).
When Daphnes mother, Helen, takes a job teaching in Europe over the summer, she informs Daphne and her brothers that they will be staying with their father and his wife, Holly, and their baby. Since Daphnes mother has done nothing but badmouth her father and Holly, she is outraged and unhappy about going. Daphne is fully prepared to go into this whole summer hating the house, hating Holly, hating her father, just the entire situation, and spending the entire summer in her room knitting, listening to Aquarium, and redesigning her own clothing.
Before Daphne even arrives, she is set in a sour mood by all the thoughts swimming in her head, and because she will be stuck with people she doesnt want to be with. After arriving, she starts finding it hard to hate them though, seeing what they have done for her and how they treat her. She starts having a hard time being loyal to her mother, and she begins to actually like Holly, her father, and even baby Georgie. Holly starts becoming involved in Daphnes life and she helps Daphne transform herself into the person Daphne, herself, knows she can be.
Daphne also finds out that Hollys mysterious brother is coming into town to stay with them for the summer, as well. With Holly keeping mum about any information, when he finally shows up, Daphne is flabbergasted and cant believe her eyes. "But its no fairytale. Its life&by Daphne.
And her life is definitely something that dreams are made of. Daphne is the kind of girl that is so easy to relate to, even now that Im nowhere near freshman year of high school anymore. This is a story where the characters have depth and they are more than they appear at first.
I found myself wanting to be able to have some aspects of Daphnes life, and I can guarantee you will, too! I think this is one of the few YA novels Ive read as of late, that I can honestly say is for the ages. Theres nothing I saw in this book (aside from literally one or two curse words) that would cause a younger reader to not be able to read this. I think this is one of those novels that could really help people remember and understand what its like to be 14 and maybe remember that starting out as a teenager is not as easy as people seem to think.
I totally think this is a book to read. Its young, its fun, its a pretty quick read, and its definitely worth the time to sit and give it a chance to impress you.