Writer Lisa Jahn-Clough presents a deteremined character named Penelope who deals with her life bit by bit and rants while finally facing her proverbial dragons. While finishing high school in her own way, Penelope attempts to accomplish feats she thinks necessary before heading into the college world.
Her living situation with her mom Viv (who dates a younger man and detests being called "Mrs." at any point) and a college student, who only appears some of the time, seems to be the ultimate in any high school student's dream. However, both Penelope and Viv attempt to cover up and avoid facing a past tragedy that both women feel is their fault. This ongoing angst culminates at the end and leads to the redemption the reader anticipates throughout the novel.
As Penelope interacts with her classmates, her potential sexual conquests, and Toad, her best friend from childhood, she encounters personalities based on established stereotypes. lAlthough the reader sees how Penelope's character maintains her individualism, several people in her life play up the stereotypes commonly found among the high school set.
An excellent read for the young adult and mature reader, Me, Penelope develops clearly with an identifiable plot line and conflicts. Jahn-Clough reveals a precocious, fascinating and quirky character who makes her way in the world with a cautious and unique self-awareness. Penelope definitely is kooky, but this makes her absolutely real. The voices she hears guide through various challenging scenarios in her daily life. Reading like a journal entry at points, the book progresses well, giving the reader some space to digest the actual substance of the story while cheering once reaching the climax.