CiCi Honeycutt’s life is a nightmare, relieved only by her escape into books and the normalcy of her neighbor’s house. Her father is rarely home, and her mother is slowly sinking into insanity. CiCi’s mother vacillates between deep depression and manic episodes that usually end with her wearing castoff prom dresses from the Goodwill store, a tiara, and red satin heels around town. CiCi’s mother is miserable living in Ohio and often regales CiCi with the wonders of her childhood in Georgia, where she was a beauty queen. CiCi attempts to care for her mother, the laughingstock of the entire town, and resents the responsibility and embarrassment of the situation. She is devastated, however, when her mother steps in front of an ice cream truck and is killed.
CiCi’s father sends her to live with her great aunt Tootie in Savannah. In the South, CiCi finds the family she has always longed for, friends, and adventures. Although she encounters challenges, she finds that with the help of friends you can survive almost anything. There are laugh-out-loud moments in this novel along, with events that will break your heart.
I think this book would appeal to girls from middle school through high school (although there are some brief, sort of racy moments). This book is for everyone that ever felt like an outcast, as well as for those who just enjoy a good story and a fascinating pack of characters.