There's no way Annabel is going to have a good Christmas break. First off, her so-call best friend, with whom she was meant to spend this whole break has a sudden case of oops-family-trip, and totally leaves her. Bubbe goes to Florida, and Angelina, Annabel's mother, goes off with her new boyfriend, Harvey, and his nerdy son, Wheaties (whose real name is Alan, but what twelve-year-old wants to be called that?). Annabel is stuck going all the way to Melbourne where everybody talks funny, lazily adds 'ie' to any shortened word ending and thinks it's cool, says everything is "graaayate" like it's the Australian national word, and are total... Dad-stealers, to visit with her dad, Jack, and meet his new family... The Steps.
Rachel Cohn has a way of capturing the quickly shifting landscape of feelings anyone has to go through the first worst time of meeting a parent's new spouse and the stepsiblings. The first time you hear someone calls the man you love "Dad" can bring up the most sickening rage. I actually got pissed off reading this book, and my parents are still married! There wasn't a big "Yay!" all the time, but this book ends up realistically-ever-after, even though by the end more "steps" are on the way. A supportive book for anyone whose family tree looks more like a diagram than a plant with roots and branches.