Tola Riley is well, unique to say the least. With her green hair, nose ring, and intense love of art it is no wonder that she is so misunderstood by her high school peers. There is one person though who just gets her, Mr. Mymer, her art teacher. While some people might not understand this relationship, Tola is fine with it, as she is so used to being misunderstood. When her relationship with Mr. Mymer gets blown out of proportion though, Tola finds herself in the middle of a scandal. Even though she tries to tell everyone the truth, no one will believe her and she continues through the year as an even bigger misfit. On top of this, Tola consistently deals with multiple family problems, friend problems, and of course the day-to-day issues of being a teenager.
I have to say that the author, Laura Ruby, has the teenage personality down to a tee. Tola was very real and I had no problem envisioning her as a real person. Laura Ruby did a really good job making the reader feel connected to the characters playing on the reader’s heart strings and making them truly connect with Tola. While I felt that Tola was decently developed, none of the other supporting characters were developed at all. Yes there were a few minutes that they almost felt real, but then they seemed to fall right back into the pages.
The author also created a very interesting plot. It took a different perspective on the whole student-teacher affair, which seems to be a theme that has become very popular in YA books. I also really enjoyed how the plot looked at how one event in a family can affect each member differently. Overall the plot was very realistic and I could easily picture this same situation happening in many high schools.
I liked this book. The writing was decent, but didn’t blow me away and the characters weren’t as well developed as they could have been, but the reality of the book made up for these weaker points. The ending was absolutely fabulous, probably the best part of the book and had me in fits of laughter. I look forward to checking out Laura Ruby’s other books and I highly suggest you check this book out when you are looking for some very real teen fiction.