Published: January 1, 2014
Trent Osceola's life is turned upside down when his mother announces that he will be moving to the Miccosukee reservation to live with his father, who was recently released from prison. Only half Miccosukee, Trent feels alienated from rez society and starts to question who he really is. When he changes schools, he reconnects with Pippa, a childhood friend who moved away, and together they tackle the class assignment to make a film of their lives. When he starts to see himself through Pippa's eyes, Trent’s not sure he likes what he sees. Will he ever be good enough for the rez, for school, and for her?
More Than Good Enough is a very interesting novel. It was hard for me to get into the story while reading the first chapter, but by the end of the second chapter I really wanted to know where Chappell was going with Trent.
While there is obviously a plot, More Than Good Enough was really a character driven story. Trent is constantly having to examine himself and question not only who he is, but who he wants to be. For years, he has been bombarded with the idea that he's worthless. He's been physically and emotionally abandoned by his parents, the school system is failing him, and the people on the rez are reluctant to embrace him into their society. Chappell, though, doesn't let this be a case of blame everyone else. Instead she brings out an awareness that Trent's attitudes and actions contribute to his circumstance as much as other of others.
I really liked the inclusion of Pippa's character. While Trent initially views her as having what he wants for himself, she comes with her own baggage that is completely different than what he has had to deal with. It is her attitude though that balances Trent's and makes their relationship believable.
The only issue I had was the ending, which felt rushed. There were threads left hanging that I had been wanting closure to, but I could see how doing that would have taken away the realistic feel to the story. That said, a few more pages would have fleshed things out a bit and felt more satisfying.