I have been reading Margaret Peterson Haddix books ever since I can remember. I think my younger sister actually introduced me to her books, and although some of the books have a lot of violence or scary scenes, something about the style of her writing is so on point.
Full Ride is no different than her previous books. I could hardly put it down. Take a girl with a secretive past, a mother who is hiding from her husband (and pretty much the whole world), and a new school full of kids that may or may not know a thing about your past, and you have the story of Becca Jones.
Well, maybe not the whole story because this book has an interesting way of making the reader think they are on top of what is going on, and then everything changes in a second. I can only imagine how the poor character Becca feels, as to her, this must be ten times worse. Becca adores her father, but recently they have moved to a more love-hate relationship. Mr. Jones made some bad decisions, and Becca isn’t able to get past that, and neither is her mom. Moving to a new state doesn’t take all of their problems away though. There are still several things that follow them in their move. One of them is their pasts, and who they were before their move. Becca and her mom have done a decent job of forgetting about their old life. But when Becca starts to apply for college, and realizes she won’t be able to afford to go to the school her heart is set on, she starts looking into ways to make a little money, and all of a sudden her life takes a complete and total turn.
I liked this book so much, and it really brought back my childhood. If I were to recommend an author that suits both boys and girls tastes and who writes in a wide range that will appeal to tons of kids, then I would nominate Margaret Peterson Haddix. Even adults might be surprised at just how compelling her writing is!
Profanity/Language: 1 religious exclamation.
Violence/Gore: A murder is mentioned hypothetically; cutting as self-mutilation is referred to; a student is mentioned to have died in a car crash; a character is mentioned to have suffered and died from a heart attack; a minor breaks their leg, blood is mentioned to be in the snow; a character is told that her eyes are bleeding and the blood is dripping out (this is not really happening); a courthouse burns down under suspicious circumstances; two hit men are reported to have shown up dead.
Sex/Nudity: A boy is referred to as “hot” by a group of girls; clothes are mentioned to look “sexy”; teens mention someone “hooking up”; a teacher is suspected of maybe sleeping with a minor student; sex is referred to in a joking manner; a sex predator is referred to; marital infidelities are referred to in no detail; a girl wants to kiss her boyfriend; a minor-aged girl and her boyfriend kiss briefly.
Mature Subject Matter:
Racism, crime, stealing, divorce, death.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Minors drink alcohol; drug use is referred to; drinking, smoking, and doing drugs are mentioned as addictions; a student is arrested for a DUI, drug use is also suspected; a college student is mentioned to abuse drugs and alcohol; a hangout for teens is referred to as a pot smoker’s paradise; a minor is mentioned to be drunk.