Daniella is a senior in high school. She has OCD, wild frizzy red hair, and is certain that she is huge (though she is not). She was adopted and feels guilty for saddling her perfectly beautiful parents with someone like her.
“The day of my birth was my worst day because I was born on the wrong planet, in the wrong body, for no real good purpose that I can ascertain.”
If only they had known when she was a baby that she would remain an ugly duckling. No beautiful swan in her story. Danielle feels like an outsider, like she doesn’t belong anywhere. When her school plans a class trip to London, a city she adores, she tells her parents she doesn’t want to go because who would want to room with her?
“I have no friends and spending a week away from home where no one but tour guides and teachers will talk to me (occasionally) is not my idea of fun.”
Danielle is forced to attend a “social skills” class by her parents which she absolutely hates, but it is there she meets Daniel who becomes the friend she desperately needs.
This novel is written in journal entries, some to her teacher as part of a class assignment, one to her school counselor, and the other is her “me-moirs” which are for her eyes only.
Through the journal entries you really get to experience how Danielle sees a world that she believes she doesn’t fit into. Often, it’s not a kind version of the world. I think ultimately, this is a story about how allowing just one person into your life can make all of the difference in the world.
On a side note, the “Dude” refers to a movie titled “The Big Lebowski.” I’ve never seen the movie, but it sure makes an impact on the Danielle and Daniel!