806 a novel by Cynthia Weil
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Number of pages: 229 (hardcover)
Published: March 13th, 2018
Source: In exchange for an honest review a copy was received from SoCal Public Relations.
Opening Line: "My mom, Kim, looks a lot like Reese Witherspoon, if Reese wore a Burger Boy manager's uniform."
KT, not Katie has always felt like something is missing in her life, besides her dad. After her mom has yet another argument with the latest in a long line of boyfriends, KT decides she's finally had enough with her mom's failed relationships and demands to know how to get in touch with her father. KT's mom sends her to her ex, Max who tells KT that her mother hasn't been truthful with her, he's not her biological father. KT's mom finally admits that her father was a sperm donor and she gives her what little information that she has on him, which amounts to a notecard with 806 and the name Cryosperm Bank, KT uses it to register on a website that matches children with their donors and is pleasantly surprised when she not only gets an email from donor 806 saying he wants to meet her, but she also finds out that she has two siblings who even go to the same high school as her. KT's new siblings are Jesse the handsome athlete and Gabe the allergy prone nerd who enjoys magic, together they "borrow" a car from Gabe's dad's and head from St. Louis to California to meet their donor father.
806 a novel is the road trip story of three teenagers who have very little in common, other than sharing the same donor father, and come to find that families come in many different forms, including the ones that raise you. KT initially has this very moody, pissed off, and pretty sarcastic vibe, with most of her anger directed at her mother's past failed relationships. KT feels like her mother is searching for a father figure to fill in some missing gap in KT's life, along the way she's made some horrible choices with the men that she dates. I must say I was really disappointed with the way that KT's mom avoided talking to KT about who her biological father was, chooses to instead send her to Max, a complete stranger and having him break the news to her about her being conceived via a sperm donor. It's no wonder that KT refers to her mom as "Kim" instead of "Mom." Being a mom myself, this seemed so impersonal, rude even, but maybe it was also a way for KT to distance herself from her mom and her frustrating relationships, not just a way of getting back at her. It took quite awhile for me to grow to like KT, she was pretty hard on her mom, her friends, even her newly found siblings, but eventually, she seemed to calm down a bit. I can't say that she truly grew as a person through the story, she never really showed remorse for how she treated them but finding her father seemed to set her on the path toward an inner peace. Filled in a hole. Jesse was the popular kid, who despite this was pretty down to earth. He sort of grows into the older brother role which I really liked. His main concern was that his two moms were breaking up and he's faced with having to choose which one of his parents he wants to live with. Gabe is the sweet kid of the bunch, he's allergic to a lot of things, insecure, and in search of how he fits in and struggling with how to relate to girls, I especially enjoyed how he asked KT for advice. It was kinda sweet watching her act all sisterly. The interactions between the siblings were what really made the story so much fun. Their journey ended up being not only about finding their donor dad but finding out about themselves, how they relate to one another as siblings and the importance their families waiting back home meant to them. Sure you have to be willing to suspend belief, like how easily donor 806 contacts them, and then despite a mixup with the donor number's at the Sperm Bank they're still able to track him down. If anything their donor dad's reaction to meeting them was a bit too over the top, but even he was highly entertaining. Plus there are a few twists and turns, and all the things you would expect from a road trip, like getting lost, running out of gas, getting their jeep stolen, and money taken. 806 manages not to be too heavy of a story and resolved in a heartwarming way and Cynthia Weil brought her passion for music and writing songs into the story, which I also enjoyed.