Katy cannot believe that her mother is leaving her with her father while she goes off to an archaeological dig in Peru. After all, her father is actually referred to as "The Rat". From the band "Suck". Can you imagine? How embarrassing.
She knew that her mom has somewhat of a sordid past. Ran away from home. Hooked on heroin. Pregnant so young. But her mom changed as soon as she found out she was pregnant with Katy. The Rat didn't change quite so quickly. Katy has not even seen him in years. His yearly visits dried up when she was about 7.
But here she is now in L.A. in the Rat's dive of an apartment. For two weeks! How will she last?
When Katy is introduced to Lake (who she finds out has been paid to hang with her), Lake dubs Katy "Beige". As in boring. As in milk toast. It's not that Katy doesn't have interests. It's just that they have always been safe interests. Predictable. Katy thrives on order.
When she finds out that her mother is extending her stay in Peru, Katy is devastated. She just can't understand why her mom would do this. They have always been a team. They keep each other steady. Now Katy is stuck in L.A. for the summer with her aging punk rock dad, and her only friend is a paid friend.
This is my favourite of the Castellucci novels. I loved the Montreal touches, and I really believed in Katy. No, there wasn't a huge transformation in Katy, but she's not the kind of girl who would change so drastically over a summer. Her layers of fear do peel away, and it is a pleasure to read. And look to the chapter titles to give yourself a bit of a punk rock education.