Well I'm done in one two hour marathon, I have completed the rules of survival! No real spoiler alert as I hate those things and I won't tell end of the novel here.
Matthew, Callie, Emmy, Murdoch, Ben, and Aunt Bobbie are the kind of family you would want. Maybe not all they've done, but how family rallies around in a time of need. Nikki reminds me of other characters in other books before I knew what bipolar was or had had any experience dealing with it personally.
Something I realized as I was reading is that sometimes, like recently, I feel as if I am still a teenager in need of an adult to take care of me. The post earlier about being self centered was a slight dump on myself. My parents were always there to help me, but with a firm knowledge that there was some kind of payback coming in the future. When that unmentioned payback never came there was always the total lack of support in whatever I was doing. It didn't matter if it was horses, sheep, college, or my marriage there was no real support and always an underlying sort of sabotage. The kind of sabotage that would have me running home to them.
My mother was a master at it and my father just followed along because he loved her so much. My mother was more likely a borderline personality I think. Manipulative in her push pull of her family and friends. Not manic then depressed like a bipolar person.
This is the kind of novel students can get a grip on because of the children against parent theme. It is nice because it isn't filled with all the angst that can sometimes run rampant through a young adult novel. Readers can identify with the characters even if they have never experienced the hyper manic bipolar. We all manipulate in some way and we all have at one time or another tried to keep the family waters smooth. A good read, a good reading circle book for the high school classroom.
Now on to a new novel...