By: Deborah Heiligman
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: August 2012
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: September 2012
Ah…the world of role models for young adults. (LOL)
In this tale our main character, Rachel, has had just about enough of her parents constantly fighting. Not only is that bugging her, but her best friend, Alexis, seems to have transformed from the normal, fun-loving girl that Rachel always cared about to a mopey Goth who talks about sex, drugs, etc., ever since her parents divorced.
One day, after overhearing yet another household battle, Rachel runs into the sanctuary. This is the peace where she can be calm, talk to her ‘creator,’ and basically chill out. In fact, she believes that now is the time to talk to Rabbi Cohn about her issues. After all, he should be able to help her out with all the problems that are going on in her life. Of course, the last thing she expects to hear inside her sanctuary is the rabbi having more than a little ‘fun’ with a woman who came to the town to marry one of the locals. It’s amazing to Rachel that the rabbi preaches about ‘intentions’ when he certainly has some of his own that don’t exactly fit in with his station.
Rachel runs out of the sanctuary, no longer believing that it can possibly be the place where one seeks solace, and tries to figure out what to do next. Do you tell someone?
Shaking her head, laughing in class, and grinning and bearing it - readers follow Rachel as she longs for her ‘almost’ boyfriend, Jake, and has to deal with Alexis and the rabbi’s handsome son, Adam, who not only dislikes his father but also has the flirty ability his father has in spades.
Rachel finds herself in one mess after another with the one bright spot being a young kid named Randy who she reads to and who has a far worse home than she does. What’s worse is the fact that one day she watches her own mother flirt with the rabbi who has already proven himself to be a lover of female attention. What is this story about? Growing up!
The author has done a good job of intermingling humor with fear, aggression, depression, obsession - a whole punch of ‘ions’ - and written a novel that will truly add color and spark to the YA world.