This is the story of a girl growing up in Central Nowhere (aka Nebraska). Morgan is in her senior year of high-school, and she can't wait to get the heck out of her small town. She has big dreams of writing the Great American Novel, and living in a big city, somewhere far away. The only thing she likes about Central Nowhere are the hills. Whenever she is frustrated, angry or confused (which is a lot), she drives into the hills, and screams her angst out to her hearts desire. And they don't mind.
Morgan is a great narrator. She is a interesting thinker, and she is constantly thinking up fortunes she would write for fortune cookies, and leaving them hidden all over the place. Each chapter starts out with an actual fortune from a cookie, and Morgan's quirky and snarky originals are scattered through the paragraphs, as they are scattered in the story in all the places Morgan goes.
Most of the story focuses on Morgan's relationships with the people around her, more so her love life. She is in a love triangle of sorts with her current boyfriend Derek (a shallow, boring guy) and her co-worker Rob (who she thinks is really cute and has a huge crush on). To make things even more complicated, she discovers that her neighbor and childhood friend, Tessa has a huge crush on HER, and she doesn't know what to make of all this. She needs to figure out what she want in life and the others in it, with some old family issues surfacing and a painful secret revealed to top it all off.
Life will fall apart, but will it fall back together? (*dramatic movie trailer voice*)
All in all, a serious but light read. I liked the narrative, and the family relationships that were discussed could have been explored more in depth, they could have been more interesting, and less neglected to the plot of a 17 year old girl's dramatic love life... Though a little sappy, things find closure in this book quite nicely. Had a breezy and refreshing feeling to it.
A story of self discovery. Learning that people aren't always what they seem at face value. Losing trust, gaining trust, and forgiveness. Knowing what you want and being who you are. Family. Acceptance. But most of all change.
Here is a quote from the book to sum that up, a conversation between Morgan and a usually slobby, cranky and repulsive customer and the grocery store she works at:
He's radiant. "Hello , young lady. How are you?"
I try to get my act together. "I'm all right, sir. How are you?"
"I'm clean, literally, and also sober. It's a great day."
I give him a faint smile as I bag up his food. "That's $12.73."
He hand me a twenty. "Keep the change."
"Sir I can't do that." I hand him back $7.27.
"Yes you can. Things change. Here's my change."