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Cher-y-lynne {sher-uhl-lin} –noun 1. One who formerly sold and recommended children’s books at a bookstore; a specialist in young adult, middle grade, and picture books. 2. A para-educator at a middle school. 3. A struggling young adult writer. 4. A lover of chocolate and popcorn. Archaic: An Audiology and Speech Language Pathology major at Brigham Young University. Questions? Suggestions? Books you'd like me to review? E-mail me at cherylynne1 (at) gmail (dot) com.
This is a blog for my ranting, raving, and occasionally brilliant opinions. You have been warned. Enter at your own risk.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Book Review: The True Colors of Caitlynne Jackson by Carol Lynch Williams

Williams, Carol Lynch. The True Colors of Caitlynne Jackson. New York: Delacorte Press, 1997.

Cara doesn't know her crying at night wakes me up. And there's not a lot I can do, 'cause I'm scared, too.

Caitlynne and Cara live in perpetual terror of their abusive and unpredictable mother. And when their mother abandons them for the summer in order to work on her novel without distractions, Caitlynne is torn between fear of being alone and relief at not worrying about her mother's mood swings. Left with nothing but a refrigerator of food and forty-three dollars to live an entire summer on, Caitlynne and Cara must rely on each other to survive.

A balancing act between the horrifying and the downright fun. I think juveniles always love the idea of being left on their own, and there are some fun things that happen during that time. But the mother is terrifying. I wish we could have seen a little more of her being kind. Her past kindness is alluded to, but I wonder if the narrator is just unreliable,because she truly does love her mother. It seems to ring true of how kids trapped in a abusive homes really are. I liked the question of what kind of person the grandmother is, that gives the reader some room to debate. And I love the boy. He’s adorable. I wonder sometimes if the neighbors were irresponsible, but I suppose it makes them more realistic. People rarely want to get involved in other people's problems. There are plenty of things to keep you thinking long after you finish the last page.

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