Thursday, October 11, 2012

ARC Review: Chasing the Skip by Janci Patterson

Chasing the Skip
Author: Janci Patterson
Publication: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (October 2, 2012)

Description: Ricki’s dad has never been there for her. He’s a bounty hunter who spends his time chasing parole evaders—also known as “skips”—all over the country. But now since Ricki’s mom ran off, Ricki finds herself an unwilling passenger in a front-row seat to her father’s dangerous lifestyle.

Ricki’s feelings get even more confused when her dad starts chasing seventeen-year-old Ian Burnham. She finds herself unavoidably attracted to the dark-eyed felon who seems eager to get acquainted. But Ricki thinks she’s ever in control—the perfect manipulator. Little does she know that Ian isn’t playing their game by her rules.

My Thoughts: This was the kind of contemporary story that really touched my heart. Ricki is on the road with the father she barely knows because her Mom took off and has been gone a month. Ricki's Mom has done this sort of thing before. But she is usually only gone for a week at a time and Ricki goes to her Grandmother's. Ricki is only fifteen but she is used to being the responsible one in their mother-daughter relationship.

Ricki's dad is a bounty hunter. When she was little, she used to make up stories about him and all the exciting things she thought he was doing. But when he never showed up to be part of her life, she decided that she would do just fine without a dad. Now they are stuck together in a truck while Ricki's dad goes after skips. The first one is a young woman who has skipped out on her child support. This gives Ricki a chance to think about her dad's treatment of her. He never missed his child support but he didn't provide any other sort of support.

The second skip that her dad goes after is a very different kind of case. Ian Burnham is only seventeen but he is wanted for car theft and other things her father won't tell her about. He and Ricki form a kind of relationship. He gives her the opportunity to defy her father but helping him. He escapes a couple of times either with Ricki's help or just because of her negligence. She even thinks about taking off with him to go looking for her mother. She wonders if her father would attempt to track her down when he has refused to try to find her mother. 

Since Ricki has always been the responsible one before, this trip with her dad puts her in a dependent role and she isn't comfortable with it. She is constantly testing her dad. Both are uncomfortable with this new relationship and aren't really sure how to relate to each other. Ricki is afraid though she won't admit it. Her mom has left her. Her boyfriend isn't returning her emails and has dumped her for another girl. She wonders just how long it will be before this unknown father decides to dump her too. 

I liked both Ricki and her father. Neither one was at all perfect. Both were realistic people with both strengths and flaws. I understood her father's reasons for not being a part of her life before. And I understood Ricki's reluctance to take a chance on him.

I think that my middle school and high school contemporary fans will enjoy this story because of the interesting characters and the unusual situation.

Favorite Quote:
"Whatever," I said through the curtain. "I should at least have a door to slam when you say crap like that."

"You can go slam the truck door if it makes you feel better."

"Maybe I will."

I thought I might have heard Dad chuckle, but I didn't open the curtain to be sure. I knew I sounded like a brat, but whatever.
I received this ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.

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