Isobel's life starts to unravel after her Mom marries a man she met Online....and continues after "the family" moves to Step Dad's "estate" on some godforskaen island off the coast of Washington state. Add a hunky, but Untouchable step brother..and you have the makings for some serious Teen Angst (with a side of Paranormal, after the dead step sister begins visiting, and raising questions about the deaths of her and her mother)
All of which would be unbearable, and probably unreadable...except for Isobel's edgy sarcasm and native Good Sense...and an honest fear of Mental Illness/Instability. Her natural father , the schizophrenic artist, is both a source of fear and regret...a heavy burden for any seventeen year old to bear..
That being said, I see this as a story, not so much of Isobel unraveling, as the fabric of her life being shredded by forces, and people, beyond her control..That she survives with her sense of humor intact can be chalked up to moxie...and her keen eye for people...who to trust..who to ignore.
The best Coming-of-Age stories don't preach...they let the character live their lives and work things out for themselves...mistakes and all. This is one of the best I've read in quite a while....I hope there are many Isobels out there.
****This was from Simon & Schuster Galley Grab****