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4.6 6
by Jessica Lee Anderson

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Fifteen-year-old Calli has just about everything she could want in life—two loving moms, a good-looking boyfriend, and a best friend who has always been there for support. An only child, Calli is excited when her parents announce that they want to be foster parents. Unfortunately, being a foster sister to Cherish is not at all what Calli expected. First


Fifteen-year-old Calli has just about everything she could want in life—two loving moms, a good-looking boyfriend, and a best friend who has always been there for support. An only child, Calli is excited when her parents announce that they want to be foster parents. Unfortunately, being a foster sister to Cherish is not at all what Calli expected. First Cherish steals Calli’s boyfriend, then begins to pit Calli’s moms against one another, and she even steals Calli’s iPod. Tired of being pushed around and determined to get even, Calli steals one of Cherish’s necklaces. But this plan for revenge goes horribly awry, and Cherish ends up in juvenile detention.

Isolating herself from her moms, her boyfriend, and even her best friend, Calli wrestles with her guilt and tries to figure out a way to undo the damage she’s caused. When her moms are asked to take on another foster child, Calli sees an opportunity to make amends for her past mistakes.

Funny, moving, and emotionally rich, Calli is a portrait of an endearing young woman caught between adolescence and adulthood, striving to do the right thing even when all of her options seem wrong.

Editorial Reviews

ALAN Review - Kim Coyle
Calli is just a normal 15-year-old girl. She has a popular boyfriend, a loyal best friend, and two of the greatest moms in the world. However, Calli's world turns upside down when her moms decide that they want to foster a girl named Cherish. Calli's new foster sister is nothing like Calli pictured or hoped for in a new family member. Cherish lies to Calli, steals her friends, kisses Calli's boyfriend, and constantly blames all of her troubles on Calli. Time and again, Calli is left wondering how someone so horrible can get away with the things she does. When an act of revenge turns haywire, Calli isolates herself from her family and friends in an attempt to come to terms with her guilt. This moving coming-of-age story portrays a world where the perils of adolescence can be rectified and mistakes can be undone, especially with the support of two loving and supporting mothers. Reviewer: Kim Coyle
VOYA - Kate Conklin
Calli is a high school freshman with a big problem—her foster sister, Cherish, just kissed her boyfriend, Dub. This betrayal is the catalyst for a series of up-and-down days. Calli is tired of Cherish saying she is a "chicken turd" and not strong enough to stick up for herself. Through deception and theft, Calli chooses to push away her friends, family, and boyfriend in her revenge. All the while, Calli's parents (her mother, Brandi, and partner, Liz) are planning to provide a temporary home for another child. Calli's choices, and unwillingness to share her concerns and fears with her moms, ultimately jeopardize their growing family. This book is poorly written and poorly edited. It reads as though the author has never met any actual teenagers but has gleaned stereotypical portrayals of teen life from movies and television. The language is an attempt to connect to young people that fails on many occasions. The situations Calli encounters, including lesbian parents, foster siblings, weight issues, friend drama, romantic trouble, bad grades, recovery from a hurricane, braces, and a sick parent might ring true to some teens; however, the author's presentation is at times condescending. Too many cliche teen issues clutter this winding plot. Reviewer: Kate Conklin
Children's Literature - Shawn Buckenmeyer
Fifteen year old Calli has the good life living in a two mom household, dating a handsome guy, and having the best friend any teenage girl could want. But her good life is shattered with the scheming ways of her foster sister Cherish. Cherish has made it her business to take Calli's boyfriend from her and unsettle her strong relationship with her mothers. Calli isn't taking matters lying down; she finds a way to get even with Cherish. Her actions will have the desired effect with devastating results. This novel takes on many issues including: teenage angst, weight image issues, foster care, child abuse, LGBT households, and taking responsibility for ones actions. Calli is a likable and well-developed character; young adult readers will have no problem identifying with her. Although the story is well written, its plot ultimately comes off lukewarm and boring. The story could have been improved with better developed supporting characters and improved story pacing. Nonetheless, Calli is an interesting attempt at addressing teenage angst, but fails to hit the mark. Reviewer: Shawn Buckenmeyer
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Calli has been the only child of lesbian parents for a long time, so when they take in a foster child, she begins to feel ignored by her two moms. Then she witnesses her foster sister, Cherish, kissing her boyfriend in the school hallway, and that's the start of a meltdown for the 15-year-old. She's tired of being a mousy wallflower and decides to get even with Cherish, which has consequences that spiral out of her control. A sickly mother with lupus and a best friend who doesn't offer Calli the support she wants don't help her case. And what was her boyfriend thinking anyway? There's a lot happening in this short novel. So much so that what could be intriguing plotlines-such as exploring the life of a teenager living with two moms and the fostering experience from the biological child's perspective-are glossed over in short chapters that leave little time for the characters to develop. Calli's life is complicated for sure, maybe a little too complicated to make this story cohesive.—Shawna Sherman, Hayward Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews

When one of her two moms is diagnosed with lupus and a new foster sister her own age moves in, things become complicated for Calli.

Life in her Louisiana suburb has been pretty straightforward, with boyfriend Dub lighting up the romance and friend Delia a solid support. All of that goes haywire when new foster sibling Cherish makes a play for Dub, Delia finds a new buddy and Calli finds she is unable to turn to either mom for help. Another foster child is anticipated, and the circumstance, while not overwhelming, begins to really eat at her.Attempts to teach Cherish what it feels like to have her stuff co-opted backfire, and Calli learns the hard way that retribution isn't all it's cracked up to be. On the typical teen-angst scale, this is fairly tepid, though it's serious enough to Calli, whose first-person, present-tense narration wrings emotion at every opportunity.Resolution comes fairly easily, as French homework, weekly family outings at a local buffet and "intervention" shopping trips with Delia and her new pal combine with Calli's admitting her wrong and making an effort to make things right.

This story about an average girl who rises to some unusual challenges in steady fashion makes forcomfortable middle-of-the-road fare. (Fiction. 12-16)

Product Details

Milkweed Editions
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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Calli 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Calli is living the good life. Her two mothers love her and care about her, she's got a rock-solid best friend, and the perfect boyfriend. But when her moms take in Cherish, a foster child her age, things begin to turn upside down. Cherish wreaks havoc in Calli's house, starting fights and taunting Calli. Meanwhile, Calli's best friend has started hanging out with someone else, and one of Calli's moms begins to have health problems. Calli's insecurities grow, and when she catches Cherish kissing her boyfriend-and her boyfriend making no effort to stop her-Calli takes revenge. But her plan takes a terrible turn, and Calli isn't sure what to do. I enjoyed this book. I liked the unique mix of topics-foster children, lesbian mothers, and teenage angst may sound like an odd mix, but if it's done well, like in Calli, it's rather enjoyable. I also think Jessica Lee Anderson did a wonderful job of characterizing Calli and her friends. This is a quick enjoyable read. 4/5 stars
Diane_Quesnel More than 1 year ago
This is a story I'm excited to share with my students as it is very thought provoking and entertaining.
Joanna_Nicholas More than 1 year ago
This is one of those stories that will continue to stay with me. I thought Calli was a great character and the story is full of heart. Copy obtained through NetGalley courtesy of the publisher.
OtotheD More than 1 year ago
Fifteen-year-old Calli's world seems to be falling apart. She just saw her foster sister, Cherish, kissing her boyfriend, Dub, in the hallway at school, and Dub didn't even try to push her away. Things haven't been going well since Calli's two moms brought Cherish into their home, and to make matters worse, they are looking at bringing in yet another foster child. As tension between Cherish and Calli rises, so does the tension between Calli's two moms as they struggle to keep peace in the house, and keep Calli's biological mother's Lupus in check. When Calli decides to teach Cherish a lesson, the fights between the girls become violent leaving Calli forever changed. I really enjoyed this book. Calli is a character many young women will identify with. She's a very average girl (a size thirteen), and she's okay with it. Her worries, hopes and dreams are all realistic. Ms. Anderson's writing is fluid and the story breezed by for me. I read this book in just a few hours. I especially enjoyed the fact that Calli had two moms and it wasn't an issue to her. It was just the way it was. Sure, she has to deal with narrow-minded people because of it (people think since her mom's are gay, she must be gay, too), but she shrugs it off as part of life. This is a refreshing YA book, free of love triangles and over-dramatic circumstances that I thoroughly enjoyed. (Review based on an Advanced Review Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley)
fictionalromance More than 1 year ago
Calli is truly an amazing heartwarming story. I didn't know what to expect when I started reading the story but right from the beginning I was sucked in. I'm afraid that Calli's fictional life is realistic for several youths of today. The emotional pain a teen can suffer because of family issues, teasing by peers, and the cruelty of those who bully is cleverly written by Jessica Lee Anderson, the author. Calli, the main character, sheds light on what goes through teens' minds when certain things can or maybe does happen in real life. Her emotional struggle to come to grasps with what happens to her is an eye-opener and can be considered inspirational to so many. Because of the inspirational aspect of the story, the problems, and the sweet ending, this book is a MUST READ for all ages. You can't go wrong with this book. While Calli's plot is serious, there are humorous moments throughout the face-paced plot. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. I obtained a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Having read a free copy did not in anyway have an affect on my review. I wrote what I honestly thought.