Plot summary (from the publisher): Fifteen-year-old Lynn Marie Sugrue is doing her best to make it through a difficult summer. Her mother works long hours as a nurse, and Lynn suspects that her mother’s pill-popping boyfriend has enlisted her in his petty criminal enterprises. Lynn finds refuge in online flirtations, eventually meeting up with a troubled young soldier, Logan Loy, and inviting him home. When he’s forced to stay over in a storage space accessible through her closet, and the Army subsequently lists him as AWOL, she realizes that he’s the one thing in her life that she can control. Meanwhile, her mother’s boyfriend is on the receiving end of a series of increasingly violent threats, which places Lynn squarely in the cross-hairs.
Warning: Spoilers below!
- This book started off well. I couldn’t wait to see what kind of trouble Lynn and Dani would get into with their Internet chat room “game”. There seemed to be a million different possibilities there.
- Lynn was an okay narrator — at least at first. At the beginning of the novel, I thought she was going to be the one sane, grounded character in a cast full of delinquents, losers, and oddballs. That would have fit with her “voice”, so I wish the author had gone with that approach.
- OMG, I hated EVERYTHING about the Logan Loy storyline! A 25-year-old soldier falls for a 15-year-old girl and has sex with her? NASTY!!! And then SHE turns out to be the psycho one who keeps him locked up as a sex slave in the storage space off her closet? What-the-fuck-ever.
- Speaking of being locked up, what kind of mental deficiency did Logan have that made him willingly sit there day after day as Lynn’s prisoner? Give me a fucking break! No one in his right mind would go along with that, yet Zimmerman never bothered explaining wtf (if anything ) was wrong with Logan. Sure, there were hints of PTSD, but would that alone make Logan submit to being a imprisoned by a 15-year-old girl in such awful conditions?
- I thought everything about Hayes was dumb and boring. That character brought nothing to the novel except a way to bring the Logan plot to a completely implausible end.
- What happened to Dani? At the beginning of the book, she and Lynn were inseparable. Then she pretty much just drops out of the story, with the weak explanation that she’s grounded or something. You’d think she’d have gone to Lynn’s house every single day to check on the “prisoner” situation.
- The end was just crap. The big, bad drug dealers were laughable, and Logan’s involvement in that “showdown” seemed forced and unbelievable. Then Logan conveniently dies in the fire, leaving Lynn with ZERO consequences for holding the guy against his will. I guess you could call her pregnancy a consequence, but I don’t. Since the author literally chose to end the book on that “reveal”, it felt way too much like a soap opera and not like a logical conclusion.
I’m not sure why Caring is Creepy by David Zimmerman is described as a coming-of-age novel. Lynn doesn’t change from the beginning to the end. There’s no character arc there, no growth or maturity. She remains selfish and manipulative through each implausible situation in which she becomes entangled. The lack of believability and all too convenient ending just adds to the book’s problems. I give this one 2 stars out of 5.