Something is seriously off in the Watkins home. And Julie Seagle, college freshman, small-town Ohio transplant, and the newest resident of this Boston house, is determined to get to the bottom of it.
When Julie’s off-campus housing falls through, her mother’s old college roommate, Erin Watkins, invites her to move in. The parents, Erin and Roger, are welcoming, but emotionally distant and academically driven to eccentric extremes. The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side … and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes.
And there’s that oldest brother, Finn: funny, gorgeous, smart, sensitive, almost emotionally available. Geographically? Definitely unavailable. That’s because Finn is traveling the world and surfacing only for random Facebook chats, e-mails, and status updates. Before long, through late-night exchanges of disembodied text, he begins to stir something tender and silly and maybe even a little bit sexy in Julie’s suddenly lonesome soul.
To Julie, the emotionally scrambled members of the Watkins family add up to something that … well … doesn’t quite add up. Not until she forces a buried secret to the surface, eliciting a dramatic confrontation that threatens to tear the fragile Watkins family apart, does she get her answer.
I flat-out loved this book! Seriously, I would totally marry this book if I could. It starts off with our young star in a sticky situation from which she must be rescued. She got screwed out of an apartment in a faraway college town and is left sitting on the side of the road (literally). Her mom phones an old college friend who lives nearby and said college friend sends her son Matt to pick up Julie.
“He’ll be driving a blue Volvo and should be there any minute.”
“OK. Matt. Dangerous town. Blue Volvo. If I get into the wrong car and get myself murdered and dumped in an alley, I want you to know how much I love you. And don’t look in the third drawer of my desk.”
Matt lives with his mom, Julie’s mom’s college friend, Erin, his dad Roger and his sister Celeste. Erin tells Julie she can stay as long as she wants. In exchange for the free room and board, she would like Julie to spend her afternoons with their 13-year-old Celeste, who has a few… quirks.