I actually enjoyed this book more than I thought I would.
Is it realistic? Not in the least. Is it an interesting look at creativity, maturity, and growing up? Undoubtedly.
I will admit that the book didn't start off so well. It set itself up to be a cliche and was fairly predictable. You didn't know exactly what was going to happen next, but as soon as you met the characters, you had a pretty good idea of how it had to end.
However, how it got to that point was splendid. I loved following the characters (even though I didn't like most of them- they are all very self-absorbed) and all of the weird predicaments they found themselves in. I especially liked how everything tied together (Jake's story line, butterflies and metamorphosis, and the "color-blind" casting) to make the reader think about the way we see and judge people.
The book is a wild adventure with runaway goats, an off-again-on-again musical, lavender ears, and spicy "fried chicken". Every moment is a blast.
The whole home schooling set up is not plausible in the least, but if you set that aside, it was still a fun read. It is definitely a book you can relax with while still thinking about human nature and society as a whole.
A well-done book that is wacky and fun, while still remaining complex in its examinations of its themes.