Jo Knowles, July 2011. Henry and Bean are BFFs partly because they both have strange family lives. Henry lives with his mom, who never leaves the house and spends her days eating Doritos and watching soaps. Bean lives with her mom and grandpa, who don’t get along. But after Grandpa dies, things change. Bean’s mom and her best friend Claire start hanging out with Henry’s mom, convincing her to have cocktails and get makeovers with them.
Then it all falls apart. Bean learns that her dad and Henry’s had the same first name – could they be the same person? And she finds out why her grandpa and her mom didn’t get along: her mom is in love with Claire, and always has been.
Henry and Bean seem younger than their given age of fifteen, and the reader will doubtless see Claire-as-new-mommy coming from far away. Still, the story is well-paced and the characters are real. A nice coming-of-age with just enough secrets to make it interesting.