Book Review | Full Ride by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Full Ride by Margaret Peterson Haddix*I received a copy of this book for review, but was not compensated financially in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based solely on my experiences while reading this book.*

Title: Full Ride

Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix

About the Book:

Becca has plenty to hide and everything to lose—but with her future on the line, she’s willing to risk it all. A gripping novel from New York Times bestselling author Maragaret Peterson Haddix.

Becca’s claim to fame is one she’s been hiding from for the past three years: Her father is a notorious embezzler, and when he was caught, his excuse was, “How else is a guy like me supposed to put his kid through college?”

Three years after the trial and imprisonment that destroyed Becca’s life, she and her mother have started over again and are living in a town where no one knows their secret. But as college—and its cost—looms large, Becca begins to wonder how they’ll afford it. And how she can apply for financial aid without divulging her secret? A local scholarship opportunity seems like a dream come true, but as the application process commences, Becca uncovers a chain of secrets that could destroy everything she’s worked so hard to build. But the truth could also lead her toward the future she’s always dreamed of… 

My Review: 

Full Ride was a quick and engaging read for me.  This was my first book read by Margaret Peterson Haddix and I’d be interested in reading more of her books.

Becca had it all: money, nice clothes, lots of friends and a happy home life. It all went poof when her father was arrested for fraud. He had been stealing money from his clients and pulling scams on the elderly. It’s no surprise that this new development rocked Becca’s world upside down. The government confiscated most of their assets and left Becca and her mom almost penniless and forced to sell just about everything they owned to make a fresh start. They were hounded by the media camped outside their house and we later learn that there were threats to their personal safety.

With the help of a lawyer, Mr. Trumbull, Becca and her mother, move to a small town in Ohio to make a fresh start. They keep everything off the grid and Becca has learned to trust no one with their terrible secret about their past and to be very careful about the information she puts out there on the Internet.

Fast forward a few years and Becca has settled into her new life in Ohio. She’s doing awesome in school and has made friends. She’s held onto the secret about her father and you can tell it’s eating her up inside. She’s fearful what would happen if people found out who she really is. 

Becca longs to go to college, but knows there’s no way she can afford to go. She would need a “full ride” scholarship. She discovers the Whitney Court scholarship at her school that provides one student with up to a full ride scholarship. Becca knows she has to apply and win. It’s her only hope since she can’t apply for legal aid without revealing who her father is.

That’s when the story really begins to get interesting. As Becca does research into her essay for the scholarship and develops her own theories, I knew that something was going to happen to turn her life upside down yet again. I was right too. It was a little predictable, but still intriguing to read how it all played out.

I liked how the secrets and twists came out perfectly timed to keep me guessing as to what was going to happen. I had a hunch how it would play out, but the story ended up surprising me towards the end. 

I really felt bad for Becca and her mom. They weren’t the ones who committed the crimes, but still were paying for them. I put myself in Becca’s shoes and felt her anguish and desperation of just wanting to be normal and to be able to go to college and get an education like everyone else. She can’t help who her father is and yet she suffers because of it. 

Full Ride is recommended for ages 12 and up. I think my 15 year old daughter would enjoy reading it. I’m old and I enjoyed it!

Stacie Vaughan

Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!

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