Myra is the most practical, self-sacrificing high school senior on earth. She has to be, with four younger brothers to take care of, parents working opposite shifts to make enough to pay the bills, and an older sister who just dropped out of college and moved back home because she’s pregnant. If Myra wasn’t taking care of everyone, the whole family would fall apart.
When Myra’s smart, perfect, rich boyfriend Erik breaks up with her, her whole world is upended. She hears about a academic contest at school, to win a research trip to the Galapagos Islands, and suddenly she wants nothing more than to go, to leave Salt Lake City, to spread her wings and fly…but first she has to beat Erik, who is applying for the same program.
As Myra dives into her obsessive research on flightless cormorant birds to try to write a winning research proposal, she’s encouraged by another guy, who seems to want her to find success and happiness. But between her family’s constant neediness and drama, and Erik’s attempts to win the contest by any means necessary, Myra’s chances of winning (and earning a thousand dollars to help pay for the trip by the deadline) are looking bleak.
I loved the stories that Myra makes up to tell her younger brothers, which of course are basically her own life experiences but set on a pirate ship! The writing is humorous, the characters are realistically flawed and the whole story is a delight. Don’t miss this one!
Check out Girls Don’t Fly by Kristen Chandler for an enjoyable teen romance with some depth (and a just little bit of biology!)– it’s available as a Book on CD from the YA Fiction section of the library and it’s also available as an ebook for checkout and download from http://ebooks.tscpl.org.