This book revolves around Beatrice's intense, demanding relationship with Jonah. They're not exactly dating, and their relationship is too emotionally loaded to call it simply friendship. Not that it's a great relationship. Jonah is codependent and demanding, and can lash out at Bea for things that aren't her fault. But he makes her feel special and understood when others don't. I have to give Standiford a lot of credit for writing this relationship realistically, without making Jonah a villain or romantic hero.
I also really liked Bea's voice, which was so honest and real. I especially felt for her when dealing with her mother. That situation is, realistically, not resolved neatly. Also not neatly resolved are her relationship with Jonah, and her feelings towards him. Jonah himself remains somewhat mysterious to the end. The supporting cast at their high school are also nicely done. There are no saintly new friends, or thoroughly evil bullies. There are, however, teenagers who are sometimes warm and friendly, but also sometimes callous.
The Night Lights radio show was a fun and different addition. I liked the characters Jonah and Bea encountered through the show. Especially Myrna, whose heart still belongs to Elvis.
I was really impressed with this book, and I'll be happy to read more from Standiford in the future.