This novel comes with a healthy bit of reality amidst the regular fluff and stuff. The main character undergoes a series of unfortunate misfortune that I'm sure others have undergone (in one form or another) and comes to a realistic conclusion that won't give readers false hope.
Kate Brown seems to have everything going against her. Her best friend Anna suddenly became popular and left her in the dust. Her father quit his job in order to sell vitamins in the mall, forcing Kate to help him without compensation. And, on top of all that, a boy named Will, known for hooking up with half the female population, has taken a special interest in her, even though she can't stand him. Or so she thought. Pretty soon it seems as though Will is the only bright spot in her job at the mall, given that they've started making out in the hidden corridors, but that's all they seem to do. If this sudden romantically physical interest in her isn't enough confusion for Kate, Anna claims to miss her and need her but won't take the extra step to be her real friend. To make matters even worse, the situation with her father has forced her family to call in help from Grandma, who seems to cause more problems than solutions. For Kate it seems as though there is no end in sight to her misery.
While most of what Kate undergoes is a bit extreme - I don't think that many can relate to a father destroying the family for the pursuit of vitamin sales - I found many other aspects relateable. For example, the sudden popularity and loss of a friend or general family money problems or a boy who you love but hate. I really liked Kate's sarcastic personality; it added a great amount of humor to the story. It was also another realistic aspect because I think many people turn to sarcasm to hide what they're really going through. What really caused me to like this novel was the ending, or beginning as Kate calls it. This novel doesn't end happily ever after. Her family doesn't win the vitamin lottery and she and Anna don't return to being BFFs. This novel had a great lesson because, as Kate puts it, "But things change. Stuff happens. And you know what? Life goes on. In fact, that's what life is" (282). While it seems very obvious, this is a reality check that everyone needs to be reminded of every once in a while.
The story may be a bit goofy, but it has a moral, something I think many books lack these days. This is a book people should read, especially if they feel as though the world is against them and nothing will be as it was.