This can’t be good! Suddenly Suze’s mom wants back into her life, and her teacher wants her to “try harder”?!
As if middle school wasn’t hard enough, Suze Tamaki's life gets turned upside down when her mother reappears after a ten-year absence. Once Suze gets over her shock, she thinks it might be cool to get to know her mom. But her older sister Tracie is determined not to let her back into their lives.
At school things aren’t much better. One of her teachers decides the way to cure Suze’s lack of motivation is to move her into Honors English – a development Suze finds both inspiring and distressing. When she's paired with straight-A student Amanda on an English assignment, she finds herself caring about people’s expectations like she’s never done before.
Suze Tamaki was three years old when her mother, Caroline, walked out on the family. Now, 10 years later, Caroline has returned to Victoria, B.C., ready to get to know Suze and her older sister, Tracie. After Caroline left, Tracie and Suze made a pact, promising never to speak to their mother again. Suze is secretly curious about Caroline, but Tracie is holding her to their promise, so Suze keeps her meetings with Caroline a secret. Suze is also balancing problems with friends and at school: Suze keeps getting sent to the office, and her grades are average at best, though Suze's English teacher sees her potential, moving her into an honors class. Anthony's (The Right & the Real) characters, both central and secondary, are fully dimensional, and Suze and Caroline's frustrations are realistically portrayed as they make awkward attempts at a fresh start (such as when Caroline unthinkingly gives Suze a gift basket that includes a bottle of Prosecco). Suze's dry borderline sardonic narration makes for thoroughly entertaining reading as Anthony sympathetically explores the vulnerability of the early teen years. Ages 9 13.)