Marisa is determined to start her sophomore year with a fresh start. She is also eager to have a boyfriend. When Derek, a boy she has been crushing on asks her out she is thrilled. Just when everything seems to be going well everything begins to fall apart. She finds out that her parents are getting a divorce. She has a fight with her best friend Sterling and her relationship with Derek doesn’t turn out as expected. Sterling can’t stop dating sketchy guys online. The one person who seems to understand what Marisa is going through is an anonymous DJ who hosts underground podcasts. In the midst of everything that is going on in her life, Marisa’s anxiety and depression returns. Can she overcome this obstacle?
This is my first time reading Susane Colasanti. After reading a few reviews, some critics compare her to New York Time’s best selling author Sarah Dessen. I have to agree because like Sarah Dessen she is able to create realistic teen characters. Both authors are able to write and think from the point of view of a teenager.
From the beginning of the book, I had an idea who the anonymous DJ was. I had it narrowed down to two people. The podcasts were getting the school’s attention and Kelvin, a boy in Marisa’s class is believed to be the DJ but it turns out not to be him. He is the obvious suspect because he has a lot to say. So readers will have to wait until the end of the story to find out the identify of the mystery DJ.
Throughout the plot there were many pop culture references. There were references to 1980’s movies such as Pump up the Volume, the Heathers, and others. I am personally not familiar with these two movies but familiar with other movies that were mentioned throughout the book. Colasanti also references My So Called Life, a TV show from the 90’s.
There is one important detail that I will give away. Marisa shows concern for her friend Sterling who plans to meet the guy whom she has been talking to online in person. Marisa and Nash show enough concern to follow Sterling to the park where she is suppose to meet her online boyfriend. However, Sterling doesn’t know that they are there. Sterling believes that her so called “older mature boyfriend” is someone from her school. I applaud Marisa for being able to look out for her best friend’s interest while dealing with her own problems. Dating and talking to strangers online can pose as a danger because you do not always know if the person is being honest about who they are. If something would had happen to Sterling I believe that Marisa would not had been able to forgive herself.