Becca Jones has lived the past three years hiding. She moves from class to class, doing nothing but schoolwork. Money is tight. Her friendships stay at school. She won’t --- she can’t --- let anyone get too close.
"FULL RIDE is a story of the horrible and the great things that ordinary people can do, and how that affects those around them."
After Becca’s father was arrested for massive embezzlement, her perfect millionaire’s-daughter life crashed to pieces in the courtroom. Guilty. Criminal. Prison. Becca can’t make herself go back to her old school, to face her classmates as the daughter of a thief who has made America hate him. Becca and her mother leave Georgia, arriving with forged identities and no cash at Deskins, Ohio. Everything they had is gone --- including Becca’s father. It’s now her senior year of high school, and no one knows who Becca really is. But college is looming, and Becca is determined to go. She wants to leave her past behind. And one full-ride scholarship could make it all real.
Margaret Peterson Haddix has written a tense and heartfelt novel of broken stereotypes, amends made, kindnesses shown and one girl’s fiery dreams. The twists and turns of this complex plot were like the walls of a maze. Becca surprises you, disappoints you, makes you hope. She has lived in fear too long not to try, at the very least, to break free of it. The result will keep the pages turning and readers caught up in Becca’s struggle.
After applying for a special scholarship contest, Becca is told by her mom that Becca doesn’t know the whole story and that even their lives are in danger. Then Becca finds out that in her hunt for the scholarship, she has made a desperate mistake. Their hidden identity is jeopardized, and Becca embarks on a last-ditch trip back to the South they had fled.
FULL RIDE is a story of the horrible and the great things that ordinary people can do, and how that affects those around them. It’s about trust, dreams and risks. At some points, fine moral lines are blurred, but few loose ends mar the story. Becca must discover what she really knows and doesn’t, and how she will finish this --- her senior year --- and beyond. It’s more than that scholarship now. It’s about life.
Reviewed by Mary M. on November 4, 2013