My Thoughts: Written For All Who've Been Hurt By Divorce As Either The Parent Or Child.Honestly I grabbed this book without reading much of the description thinking it was only to do with a teenager and her wanting to connect with a DJ. That is soooo not the case, this book is way more than I was expecting but in a good way. The plot feels confusing at first especially with the verb tense and perspective being a bit off, but as you read on and more of the situation is revealed, a reader can see such a depth to this book you may not have expected. I certainly wasn't, which made this book a great emotional read that has left a huge impression on me for life.
After a two year bitter divorce in which her two parents want only to destroy each other, left thirteen-year-old Natalie Rausch in the middle and alone, now she is nothing but hardened towards those around her. Natalie absolutely hates everything her mom says and does, since Natalie is convinced she is all to blame for destroying their family. She also hates her dad for cutting her out of his life and leaving her alone with the one person in the world she really hates. Natalie lets herself spiral out of control by dropping her grades, shop lifting, dressing like a punk and swearing worse than a sailor all in an effort to enrage her mother and get attention from her non-existent father. However, it's not until Natalie hits her lowest point by hanging out with a group of dangerous older teens that she finds herself in real physical danger. It's then that redemption in a series of tasks given by a spirit in the form of DJ Crazy Todd may be possible if, and only IF, Natalie can fix her wrongs in time. Natalie takes the offer of a second chance and winds up on a journey with her mother and father exploring where her family fell apart and why, but most importantly how they can move forward together, if Natalie completes her tasks and wins approval for her second chance.
Overall, this story has such a grasp on how much divorce destroys kids and families, that for me a person who has not experienced divorce firsthand, now feels more attuned to help the kids I do know who have gone through these types of messy divorces with more clarity. Now the plot flow, perspective, verb tense and story structure was a bit rough for me to get through for a couple chapters, but once I got a third of the way in I realized this book was emotionally golden. Natalie is hurting and expressing it as best she knows, which is basically wreck whats left of her life since her parents helped destroy what happiness she had once before they started fighting. So when they, as a family, finally get a chance to let the hurt and blame fall away, by allowing the whole truth to come out it helps them all heal. Natalie is clearly a thirteen year old girl who is trying to be older than she needs to be, but her life changed the moment her parents decided to divorcee. As an adult who helps kids, many who come from split families, I know the kids are always hurt from the experience and this book helped remind me their actions are reactions, which may be for attention not always self destruction. So if you were once an angry teen from a bitter divorce, or know a teen(s) that are angry at everyone and everything when the people in their world seem against them, than this book may be a good choice.