Tara hasn't really every had any good friends because her family has moved frequently. In an attempt to fit in with the popular girls, she pulls a prank at school and is expelled. Her parents decide that she should spend the summer with her cousins in the small town where her parents grew up while they go and do research abroad. As soon as Tara arrives in Willow Falls, she is quickly accepted in a group a good kids, and for the first time starts to learn what is means to have friends. But things are not what they seem in the small, close-knit town. Tara falls afoul of the local mysterious eccentric. The woman gives Tara a list of things she must find, but as she and her new friends throw themselves into the task, Tara begins to discover things about her past, and her parents, that she never expected.
I must admit that I almost gave up on this one half way through this book. There were so many odd and random things. It just seemed strange that two characters, who were best friends, could only communicate by writing on chalk boards, and another was randomly the girl friend of a movie star. Then, when I went to write this review, I looked at the catalog entry for the book to find out how many pages it had, and realized this is the third in a series. The first is about the two kids who didn't talk to each other, and the second is about the girl who falls for the movie star. At least this is the first book about Tara, so it kind of stands alone. There were things I liked about the book. I liked that the kids were all really nice to each other. There were no mean girls or bullies. That was refreshing. Now I get to decide if I am going to go back and read the first two. (341 p)