It has never occurred to Tess that her dad might not be her biological father. But the blog entry she discovers on his computer makes it painfully clear; not only is she the child of some unknown sperm donor, but Jack–the man she had thought of as her dad–was repulsed by her at her birth. He probably still is now. That would explain why he’s always criticizing her weight and judging her for her unpopularity. In fact, it now seems obvious that he’s a serial liar. Home no longer feels like home, but Tess’ attempts to run away are pathetic failures. Instead, she retreats inside herself and stops talking. Her only “communication” is her imaginary conversations with her plastic goldfish flashlight as she attempts to figure out who her real father might be and where she fits in at home and at school.
This engaging realistic fiction novel explores complicated family relationships as well as themes of identity, bullying, and fidelity. Tess begins as a seeming pawn, unable to take action for herself, batted around by people in her life, but through her period of silent protest, she becomes a confident protagonist who transforms her life and her relationships for the better. I highly recommend this new novel to readers who enjoy realistic fiction.