Connie Finnegan and Samuel Sheppard are both single parents. Connie has 13 children from her first marriage. Samuel has 10. When they announce their engagement, Hilarity Ensues.
The book is a first-person novel that regularly switches narrators, between Scooter Finnegan and Rory Sheppard. It documents the family after the marriage, as everyone adjusts to moving to a new city with new siblings.
This book provides examples for the following tropes:
- Alpha Bitch: Bug-Eye Kate. A MUCH milder example is Evangelina.
- "Awesome McCool" Name: A few of the kids. Most notably, Alphonse Finnegan, Scooter Finnegan, and Rory Sheppard.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: According to Rory, the Finnegans are so diverse in looks. Her specific examples are Nora (blonde), Dana (Brunette), and Jimi (Red Head). None of them actually have the specific traits that come with their hair colors, though.
- Cheerful Child: Winnie, Tim, and Lorelei Sheppard, and Alphonse, Jonathan, Dana, and Jimi Finnegan.
- Cool Big Sis: Half of the characters, though Piper, Rory, Scooter, Annie, Nora, and Quinn are more specific examples.
- Gender-Blender Name: Scooter, Rory, and Jimi. All girls.
- Half-Identical Twins: Jonathan and Dana
- Heroic BSoD: Rory goes into this, refusing to narrate her chapters, after Scooter goes into a coma.
- Kids Are Cruel: The kids at the new schools. Bug-Eye Kate Matthews especially for Scooter and Rory
- Massive Numbered Siblings: Thirteen Finnegans, ten Sheppards, 23 kids total. Originally, it was one family with 43 kids. Taken down to more realistic standards.
- Team Pet: Quincy, Alphonse's pet snake.