edit: After I wrote this review I realized there was a simple part of the story I felt like touching on: how to pronounce "Gem". She corrects 2 different people that "...it's Gem, not Jim." Okay, this is petty and I know that, but what is the difference? I seriously cannot tell. Was that really what you needed to write? Because I cannot tell a phonetic difference in those two words.
This was nothing original. Nothing new. It was a short read, and the premise was simple. Gem and Dixie live with their selfish, druggie mom in a piss-poor tenement block with no food. Their dad is gone, and their mom cares more about being their buddy than an adult. Gem is the mature one. Dixie is still starry eyed and refuses to believe their parents are bad, no matter how many times her heart gets broken.
It's full of typical young adult tropes. You just want to slap the shit out of Dixie the entire book. No matter the nasty words, the loud shouting or the fact their mother doesn't feed them, she just can't swallow the fact mom is a neglectful addict. "Maybe she has reasons..." No honey. No. You have to stop being stupid. It's getting very old.
The dad is your typical "I wish I was a rock star" asshole. He only loves himself. He does not even acknowledge Gem as his daughter. It's always "Dixie and her sister". "You know how your sister is." He's a douche bag.
I didn't learn much from this, except that I get tired of wading through the young adult muck to find the gold.