I've now read a string of YA novels that I've felt very middle of the road-ish about. For a second I thought maybe it was me, but no. No. I think it's the books. Let's talk about Vera Dietz. Vera is dealing with the loss of her once-best-friend Charlie. The death really forces her to deal with a number of issues in her life, including drinking and a strained relationship with her father. I thought the way the author changed points of view throughout the story was pretty fun, especially in the parts where the Pagoda spoke or where Ken Dietz included some awfully honest flow charts. A lot of the narrative, though, I found was repetitive. It took a while to get started and even then the story never really took off. Basically, let me summarize:I love CharlieI hate CharlieCharlie is deadMy dad is ignoring stuffJenny is evil.Sad. I love CharlieI hate CharlieCharlie is deadMy dad is ignoring stuffJenny is evil.Sad. Lather, rinse, repeat. There was a lot about the book that made me uncomfortable. That's not meant as a bad thing. It was very raw and honest, especially in the parts where it discussed destiny and repeating the mistakes of your parents. To me, those where the best parts. The "mystery" involved wasn't really great and Jenny was a one-sided-super-evil-villain. I'm pretty sure she twisted her mustache and laughed maniacally at some point in the story, right?The end sort of fizzled out. As happy as I was for Vera and her father, the climax wasn't very climax-y and the resolution felt cheap. That was that. The end. Well... that didn't seem too hard did it?A solid story, overall. Nothing magical, though.