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Chasing the Skip by Janci Patterson

For most of her life, it’s just been Ricki and her mom, and that’s the way Ricki likes it. But when her mom takes off for an extended vacation, Ricki finds herself living with her father for the first time. As a bounty hunter, he’s always spent more time chasing down criminals evading parole than with her, and Ricki isn’t really too thrilled that he’s now back in her life. Why should she have to do homework while he goes after skips? She’d much rather be taking notes on this real life action, however unglamorous. Things get more complicated when Ricki’s dad starts chasing Ian Burnham. Ian’s not much older than Ricki, and there’s something about him that draws her to him and she’s starting to realize that things aren’t quite as black and white as they seem. Ian’s not just a criminal, her father isn’t just the absentee parent from her childhood, and Ricki’s not just along for the ride. For the first time, she’s going to take charge of her life, even if she doesn’t realize how much trouble she’ll cause.

When I first heard about Chasing the Skip, I thought the book would be about Ricki’s relationship with the young skip her dad is chasing, but while this does feature into the plot, I found that there’s really much more to the story. For me, Ricki’s story was about her relationship with her parents, and while that made the story less exciting in terms of action, it was still a good story nonetheless. I loved being able to read about Ricki’s past and especially how she reevaluates everything that’s happened to her once she understands more about who her mother and father are as people. Unfortunately, though, I found that I could never completely connect to Ricki’s story, in spite of how interesting it was, because she felt too emotionally distant at times, and this made the story have less impact overall. Despite this, Chasing the Skip is definitely a sweet and enjoyable read, though not necessarily in the way most readers would expect.

Chasing the Skip appeals to readers who also enjoyed All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin or are in any way intrigued by bounty hunting.

Rating: 3.75

Review copy from publisher Macmillan

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