Danita knows that nobody’s perfect, but it’s never easy to admit that might include your own parents
Danita’s parents love to remind their daughter that she weighed less than a loaf of bread when she was born, but now that she’s almost fourteen and perfectly healthy, Danita really wishes they’d give her some space. Obviously still in love and completely devoted to their family, even Danita’s best friend, Laredo, thinks Mr. and Mrs. Merritt are the ideal parents, but Danita can’t help wanting them to focus on anything—or anyone—else.
Danita’s wish is about to come true, but is it more than she bargained for?
Danita Merritt, 14, has the perfect family--at least her best friend, Laredo, thinks so. Mr. and Mrs. Merritt adore each other and dote on their two daughters, while Laredo rarely sees her divorced father. The picture changes when Danita meets the ubiquitous D.T. Goodman. The 19-year-old Californian is in town to locate his father, who is unaware of his existence. D.T. ultimately tells a shocked Danita that he is her half-brother, the offspring of Mr. Merritt's teenage romance with a schoolmate who chose to move west rather than disclose her pregnancy. Danita's first-person narrative reveals all the anguish and turmoil expected of someone in her situation, which she handles with remarkable maturity. Mazer's skilled writing allows her main character to be perceived in very human terms. Although the dialogue is syrupy at times, the compassion evoked for the offspring of unhappy alliances gives the novel considerable impact. Ages 12-up.