Surely, there are less blatantly obvious set-ups in YA fiction?
You know right away (so there's no spoiler here) that Sarah's mother is in a mental institution because she tried to drown her and her twin brother when they were small. Everything leads from there, as you would expect it to - obvious confusion about not having her mother in her life, wondering who her mother really is, angry at her father for essentially being the only one left, etc. etc.
But the confusing part about this novel is that Sarah is just super-duper more intelligent than anyone. She asks mind-bendingly advanced questions and has an emotional presence of someone in their thirties. At twelve. It's too unbelievable. I can understand crafting a character that has some smarts, but all of them?
The tale didn't resonate with me, then, and the obvious ending - where Sarah is less than emotionally resilient in order to effect the plot - was also not believable. A pity, since I think Harrington has the chops to create something far more plausible.