Title: My So Called Ruined Life
Author: Melanie Bishop
Release Date: 01/1/2014
Reviewed by: Isaiah
Melanie Bishop has crafted a wonderful leading lady in Tate McCoy. A strong and witty teenager, Tate McCoy isn’t going to let everyone be right. The murder of her estranged, alcoholic mother and the trial of her loving father isn’t going to break her and ruin her summer (and life). With the help of her vegan best friend, Kale, and the dreamy lifeguard/reporter extraordinaire Sawyer, Tate learns how to come to terms with the issues of the previous year. While the book is a coming-of-age story, it is also a mystery. The murder of Tate’s mother is still unsolved and while everyone may be trying to pin it on her father, Tate won’t believe it. The mystery aspect, while not central, definitely didn’t feel like a last minute tack-on to the main storyline and flowed beautifully into Tate’s story.
Not only does the story keep you coming back for more, but Tate is an extremely likable character. Her determination to stay strong in the face of everything is inspiring. And she still remembers to be a teenager and have some fun. Her desire for independence is universal and wonderfully natural, lacking that forced feeling that sometimes happens when adults write as teenagers. Her friends are also lively, fun, and interesting, making me wish that I had my own Leaf Green.
As a personal part, having lived in Austin my entire life, it was like home to read about lazy summer days spent at Barton Springs or trips to Wild Basin and the Pedernales River. Melanie Bishop perfectly captured the uniqueness and best qualities of Austin in this insightful and intriguing read.