Nicki has been from foster home to foster home, until the U.S. government comes calling. Her mission: join a family and pretend like she's always been part of it. This involves changing her name (Charlotte Ashlynn Trevor), moving to a new state (North Carolina), attending a new school, and being required to be exactly average - earn only B-minus grades, and only join two school activities. Now her "brother" hates her, her biological father has never contacted her, and she's hiding from an organized crime family. Oh, and she's a kleptomaniac with a super power for stealing things.
There are some really funny, charming parts in this book, and I really enjoyed it. If you have any experience with adoption - or, you know, children - you will probably find it cringe-worthy that Nicki is dropped into a forever family with almost no introduction or counseling, especially since A) her numerous prior placements didn't work out and B) they are being chased by murderous criminals. However, the kid-power notion that Nicki is the one who can ultimately save the family and potentially thwart the evil adults with her intelligence and skill is undeniably appealing. The character study is well-written and the story is a fun page-turner. If you don't fall in love with Nicki/Charlotte when she attempts to name her taser, it's probably not the whimsy you're looking for . . . but you're going to love her before that.
"The girls' basketball team is so terrible that I don't even have to try out. I just walk into the gym teacher's office, ask about basketball, and they're handing me a uniform. Two days after that, I'm in my first scrimmage. I score two points, and do absolutely nothing worthy of any attention. The coaches are super impressed that I know how to dribble, though." p.220
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