Flashback Friday: How Not to Spend Your Senior Year

10:20 Cilla P 0 Comments

Flashback Friday is a feature where I share the books that has influenced my love for reading. This week, I look back on How Not to Spend Your Senior Year by Cameron Dokey.

Rule #1: If at all possible, don't pretend to be something you're not. Specifically, don't play dead. Trust me on this one. I did it, so I should know.

Jo O'Connor has spent her whole life moving around. When it comes to new schools, there's not a trick in the book about starting over that Jo doesn't know. But life is about to teach her a new trick: how to disappear entirely.

Rule #2: Always expect the Spanish Inquisition, no matter what anyone else does.

They have to move again. Now. This very night. Jo knows better than to argue. Her dad is the key witness in a major case against a big-time bad guy. But Jo just can't resist one last visit to the school where she's been so happy. All she wants is to say good-bye. That can't cause any problems, can it?

Rule #3: Never assume you can predict the future.

Now Jo's one last visit has landed her smack in the middle of a ghost story. Specifically, her own. By the time it's over, she'll have a whole new set of rules about what's real, what's make-believe, and — most of all — what's important.

My best friend recommended this book to me in middle school; she even lent me her copy. At the time, she thought this was the most fascinating story ever, and I agreed. This was probably my first real venture into YA, and one of the first books I read in English. The language was easy enough for me to basically inhale the book, and I did. I loved the plot and the character, and ever since this book, I've counted Cameron Dokey among the authors I can reliably get a good story from.

For me, this book was the start of my love for Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies, a love that lasted until high school. The books aren't all as brilliant as this one, in my opinion, but they were always a lot of fun to read. From here, whereas before I had always preferred fantasy and mystery, I started looking for stories that featured regular boys and girls dealing with life's drama.

I don't remember sharing any other book with my best friend, as our tastes soon evolved in different directions. Still, I owed her this one!


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