One day when Casey comes home from school she finds that her stepmother, Sylvia is gone. Although Sylvia left some money on the refrigerator and a freezer full of frozen dinners, Casey is still worried. She decides, however, not to tell anyone. Instead Casey will keep on going to school and acting like everything is the same.
As the days pass, however, Casey finds it harder and harder to maintain the veil of deception surrounding her life. All too soon she runs out of money to buy more food, and she has to pay the apartment rent. She confides her secret to her landlord's teenage boy, Paulie, who is also a foster child like Casey.
Paulie tells Casey that the last thing she wants to do is end up back in the foster care system. Then he presents a daring, and illegal, plan to Casey. A rich old woman lives in an apartment building a few blocks away. Casey will ask to use her phone and then steal money from her. Paulie will forge Casey's stepmother's signature so that Casey can pay her bills. How far is Casey willing to go to maintain her independent life? More importantly, is Sylvia ever coming back?
I did not like “Say Yes.” The plot that Audrey Couloumbis has created is realistic, and I'm sure that many children are placed in similar situations every year. However, I didn't like the way that the storyline condoned Casey's theft. In the end she gets away with the robbery, although she returns a ring that she stole. Even when Casey's mother returns they manage to hush up the abandonment so that foster care doesn't take Casey away.
“Say Yes” does not show the real life consequences of abandonment and robbery. I feel that Audrey Couloumbis did a good job in choosing real life issues to create her plot, but she ended up watering down the ending so that “Say Yes” becomes a sort of idealistic fairy tale story. The happy ever after ending does not feel real at all.
I would not recommend “Say Yes” to readers because it encourages youth independence and wrong-doing without showing consequences.
Inkweaver Book Rating: