This is a touching look at how an unusual mental illness affects one teenager’s family. High schooler Alex’s mom believes she is Amelia Earhart, and meanwhile Alex herself is too terrified to even drive a car. As Alex’s mom spirals further into her delusion, Alex must babysit her kid brother and take over more work around the house, all while trying to pass driver’s ed and maintain the illusion of normalcy at school. Alex’s friendships suffer in a believable way as she hides the truth of her mother’s condition from her best friends by diving headfirst into a new relationship with a guy. Through all of this, we learn about the real Amelia Earhart, and there are moments of humor as Alex’s mom doles out “advice” based on the Amelia Earhart’s life experiences. While Alex is sometimes very prickly and overly self-conscious, it is because of this that she feels so authentically teen that I couldn’t can’t help but root for her and hope things would turn out for the best.
Disclaimer: Review based on free ARC from the publisher obtained through NetGalley. Annie Cardi is a local author and fellow winner of the PEN-NE Children’s Book Discovery Award. I picked this book up because I follow her on twitter and am a huge fan of her blog!