Seeing as how this book was published in 2004, I can't believe I hadn't heard about this book ages ago - apparently, I am way out of the loop with good YA fiction! This author has a real ear for dialogue; everything rings true and the characters sounded like real people talking. Speaking of the characters, I found them to be nicely multi-dimensional, and the author does a great job of helping us with their motivations and feelings. The family dynamics on display here rang true to me too; I know all families are different, but the story unfolds in a very realistic way. All in all, this was a great book, and I will definitely have to check out more by the same author. Recommended.