Friday, April 4, 2014

Full Ride, by Margaret Peterson Haddix

I must admit that despite her wild popularity among my students (they love Among the Hidden), I've never read anything by Margaret Peterson Haddix before. Full Ride was my first venture into her writing. I loved her writing style and her characters, but there were some parts of the plot that just bothered me.

Full Ride is about Becca Jones, who is unfortunately paying for the crimes of her father. Becca's dad is in jail for extortion, and he is famously quoted for providing paying for his daughter's college tuition as a major motivator behind his crimes. After his arrest and imprisonment, Becca and her mother have to leave their hometown of Atlanta, because there are threats against them and they can't manage to live them anymore. So, they fled to Deskins, Ohio, just in time for Becca to start out her freshman year. Becca goes through high school in self-imposed isolation, not letting herself get close to anyone in fear that her mother's and her true identities might be found out. For the three years, Becca and her mother have been advised by her father's attorney, Mr. Trumbull. But when Becca starts applying for colleges, she realizes that Mr. Trumbull might not have her best interests at heart. So, she does the unthinkable, and goes to visit her father in prison. He's able to shed light on Mr. Trumbull's true character, and Becca becomes determined to bring him to justice.

While I did really enjoy Full Ride, there were certain parts that frustrated me. I couldn't quite figure out how to feel about Becca's dad, or how Becca even felt about him. I'd imagine, though, if your dad did something like hers, you'd feel uncertain, too. So maybe this was intentional. Additionally, I felt like some of the interaction with Mr. Trumbull was just too coincidental.

Also Try: Blood Wounds, by Susan Beth Pfeffer

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