The characters are well written... It was not very far into the book before I figured out the "who dun it" of this book and I kept telling the main character to stop being stupid and see it for herself.
Everything about this book is done poorly. I wanted to sympathize with Ren. The themes of change and loss were briefly touched upon, but they werent handled with care and felt like an afterthought. I enjoyed myself reading this book. Sure, it was a dumpster fire and included death by Harry Potter books, but I at least had fun hating it.
Thankfully, Laurens suburbs arent so uniformly bland and white as Hughes, so Ren manages to surround herself with a diverse group of people.
After a freak incident involving tons of Harry Potter books that causes her mothers death, Lauren (better known as Ren) moves to Connecticut with her grieve-stricken father. She finds out that Farrin is actually talking to an older man online known as FDA and hes pestering her to meet him. Ill admit, the Harry Potter thing was what got me interested in this bookwell, interested enough to at least read the first chapter. But the good thing about the book is also the humor. I re-read this one three times, laughed like crazy, and my brother looked at me weirdly. It makes me think of that Rugratz movie where the kids say something like that to the antagonist. The creator of the books is also mentioned a lot, but not exactly in a good way. K. Rowling (as well as her books) for causing her mothers death, so she often goes on a roll by saying something like, If my mother wasnt dead because of J. K. Rowling kept making the bestseller lists when she didnt. Not that it stops hereit goes on a few more times like this towards the ending chapters. I love Rowling and HP, but Im not too fond of other authors using them as bait to get other people to try to read it.
The rich of Danbury would actually be more like Jack's family, so why his sister Amanda is envious of Ren and her money make no sense. Additionally, Ren's crush on Jack, the school's most popular guy, seems equally shallow. He's caring enough to always ask if Ren's doing okay, but other than that, we don't see any of his interests or a deeper level of connection with Ren. I know you don't meet your soulmate at 16, but I'd like to think any potential love interest in a book has some interesting dimension to them. Anyway, the saving grace of this book is the main plot: through an accidental switching of notebooks, Ren realizes that the most popular/b!tchiest girl in school, Farrin, has a secret. Honestly, I think teens of Ren's age would find this book kind of bad and would never get far enough into the book to get to the main plot of sex perverts on the Net (seriously, the plot was introduced like 1/3 of the way in), so the message is lost.
Ok, so it's been a while since I was 16, but I sincerely hope most 16-year-olds aren't this shallow and stupid. She was constantly going off on these stupid little rabbit trails about how pretty her watch was and things like that. I was very disappointed with Ren. I just can't get over how stupid and shallow she was. Never mind that she's a 16-year-old, native New Yorker who should have a pretty good idea of just how badly things could go in a situation like that - especially considering that she's smaller than most girls. Nope, she sees the initials - which of course could have no possible meaning for anyone else in the world - and assumes it's her father.
It seems life is out to get Ren, because she has no new friends, the evil "it" girl Farrin is out to get her, and it seems that her dad never wants to talk with her anymore. Unfortunately Farrin likes to think Jack is hers and that Ren should just stay away. I enjoyed Ren's character, but to me she was just like a lot of characters in many other books. The one thing that did really speak to me though is the fact that a lot of girls go online into chat rooms, like Sex World, and get themselves mixed up with creepy sex offenders.
The mysterious stranger appears to be an older man, and Farrin may be planning a meeting with him. The more Ren learns about this dangerous communication, the more she begins to suspect the mystery man could be someone she knows; that's when her own plan begins to take shape. Even after revealing significant facts, author Lauren Baratz-Logsted keeps the suspense flowing in Ren's story.
Between 1994 and May 2002 when Red Dress Ink called with an offer to buy THE THIN PINK LINE Lauren worked as a book reviewer, a freelance editor and writer, and a window washer, making her arguably the only woman in the world who has ever both hosted a book signing party and washed the windows of the late best-selling novelist Robert Ludlum. Since Red Dress Inks call in 2002, Lauren has been kept very busy with writing more novels and checking her Amazon ranking on a daily basis. In addition to writing, Laurens daughter keeps her busy, accounting for the rest of her time.