Book: Full Ride
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Genre: YA Fiction, Suspense
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Basic Plot: When Becca’s father is sent to prison, Becca and her mother must rebuild their lives in a small town in Ohio. To protect themselves, they have to keep that deep, dark secret hidden. Three years later, Becca applies for a full-ride scholarship to college. Suddenly, the past is revealed and Becca’s whole future is at stake.
1) Becca is well-portrayed. I definitely felt for her, not only in losing her daddy to prison, but the fear she lives with trying to hide her true identity.
2) I liked Becca’s group of friends. It’s nice when she realizes she can trust them.
3) The mystery surrounding the fate of Whitney (of the scholarship fame) was done well. We get hints what happened, although it’s a nice, slow progression to the ultimate reveal.
4) I thought Haddix did a good job in her set-ups, leadins to the pay-offs later in the book. I loved the little details, like the u-haul switch before they move. And the essay switch-up was good.
5) The chapter headings were interesting. Basically telling us if it were “Then” or “Now”, often hinting at Becca’s state of mind. For example: “Now (Why, oh, why aren’t I in a different now?” or “Now—and things can get worse”.
6) I like how Becca’s father is portrayed. We’re able to feel the disgust and the sympathy, and all the emotions in-between that Becca feels toward her daddy. For a character that is hardly in the story, he has a very real presence.
WHAT’S NOT COOL…
1) [*Minor Spoiler] I thought the “sting” at the end of the novel a tiny bit unrealistic. Or rather, it didn’t seem it fit in with the rest of the story. It was like watching Hollywood suddenly take over.
2) The trip near the end of the story also felt a little forced. Like why is it that all of a sudden Stuart’s parents can’t make the trip? And then they only agree to the young people going is if Becca (the good student) is going?… How do they even know Becca? It’s very clear in the book that Becca never goes to the homes of her friends. So, that just seemed a tad too convenient to the purposes of the plot.
My rating is 3.5 Stars (out of 5) – I enjoyed the suspense of this book. It kept me guessing just enough to keep me reading. Overall, a good read.