Hail Caesar, by Thu-Huong Ha
Let me just start out by saying I will NEVER learn how to spell ‘caesar’ correctly without having to look it up. But anyways. John “Caesar” Miller is the golden boy. Guys idolize him, girls fall at his feet, and his life is one big party. At the outset of the book the only things he cares about – and I mean actually cares about – are basketball and his little sisters. So he’s not completely awful.
But then he meets Eva (pronounced ay-vah), the new girl. She’s not falling at his feet like all the other girls (Jenna, Sophie, Lindsey, etc) are and she seems his complete opposite, but the two become friends. He actually talks to her – something he doesn’t do with, well, anyone else.
I suspect the Eva-Caesar plot wouldn’t have been enough to keep this story going, if only for the reason that it seems a little too romance-story-predictable for my tastes. It’s the subplot of this book that I really loved: the relationship Caesar has with his thirteen-year-old sister, Kelly. The way he worries about her when he sees that she’s potentially going down the same route he started taking when he was in junior high.
I didn’t expect greatness from this book. In fact, I didn’t even expect to finish this book. The whole thing surprised me, really. I mean I actually really enjoyed this book. The characters and emotions were impressively real and even though Caesar’s not someone I would ever think about in real life, the honesty of his personality and his relationships with the people around him drew me into the book, the setting, the story.
That wonderfullness being said, I did have some trouble with the book. Two things: too much talk about sex (not graphic), and waytoo many instances of the F-word. (And omg please tell me 13-yr olds don’t really cuss as much as Kelly does!) Now I realize that if these things hadn’t been in the book it would have been much less real, but it was still a bit problematic for me.
Still though, I loved this book. And I especially loved the ending!