Just Call My Name by Holly Goldberg Sloan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the second book I've read by Holly Goldberg Sloan, the first being I'll Be There which I loved. I thought the first book had to be a fluke. It was just really well written and the story was very well developed, particularly for a YA novel. Clean, too. Yep. It had to be a fluke.
So Just Call My Name is Act II. Sam and Riddle are settled into a "normal" life after growing up with a father who is a sociopath. Emily's parents take in Riddle and are working towards adoption. Sam is living in an apartment close to campus and Emily is finishing her senior year. The author stays true to each character. Emily is still kind-hearted by nature, although she is pushed just a little bit to the shadows with the introduction of Destiny, another throw-away child who has learned to survive. Her eyes seemed to have landed on Sam.
Meanwhile, Sam has the mentality of the kind of kid he grew up believing he was; undeserving. He questions how he got where he is and how he will probably mess it up. Meanwhile, the entrance of Destiny reminds him who he really is; a nobody. He has a lot of self doubt and Destiny is a temptation. She is a little bit of neon sex in the window, blinking like a lighthouse. So there is more innuendo in this book.
Then we still have Bobby whose ego is bruised from Emily leaving their date. He had big plans for the two of them and she just went home. Of course, on the way home, she met up with Sam who had just escaped his psychotic dad. But that was last book. Bobby still wants to get his game on and Destiny is presenting herself. It's not about sex, it's about... well, it's about sex but it's veiled. Destiny is about survival. Bobby is about redeeming his pride and reputation. Bobby is a fantastic character. Hilarious, actually. With a lot of redeeming qualities.
Last of all, we have Sam and Riddle's father. He's still alive but currently incarcerated. He's been greatly wronged, you know. He didn't do anything wrong. His kids are just rotten and they turned against him. Because of that girl and her family. But the man without a conscience is not without a brain. He has a plan. The author writes a very well developed psychopath.
The first book wasn't a fluke. It's really good.