Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Review: Dime

Dime Dime by E.R. Frank
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Using the voices of Sex, Money, and Truth, Dime writes her story, so another can be saved from her fate. Dime was thirteen when she ran away from her drunk foster mother. She meets L.A., who brings her to Daddy, they feed her and give her a place to stay. Nothing is ever free, though, and Daddy needs money to take care of Dime. So at the age of fourteen, Dime starts earning her keep by turning tricks for Daddy. She's so starved for love, that she believes him when he tells her this is the only way to help. But when an even younger girl joins Daddy's stable, Dime realizes that things must change, even if she feels it's too late for her.

The writing in the heartbreaking book drew me in and kept me reading, looking for a ray of hope. I wanted so much for Dime to talk to someone. She was so defeated. I think this is an important subject, that needs more exposure.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Review: Consent

Consent Consent by Nancy Ohlin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bea is floating along her senior year, letting her best friend, Plum. dictate their agenda: studying for classes, planning college trips to the best ivy league schools, and practicing for the SAT test. But Bea has a secret, she plays the piano like her mother who died when Bea was an infant. Father cries whenever he hears Bea play, so she has had to learn and practice on her own. When she is overheard playing by a new, young music teacher at school, Mr. Rossi, he is the first one to tell her just how talented she really is. Dane Rossi offers to introduce her to his teacher at Julliard, opening up opportunities, Bea had never even considered, because she and her father rarely talk and she feels abandoned by him. A weekend trip to play for the professor changes her future, and her relationship with her teacher, causing even more secrets and confusion. She thinks she’s in love, but is she really?

I think my girls will eat this book up, but I had to keep putting it down to take a break, it made me so uncomfortable, yet I had to finish it. The author does a great job of getting into Bea’s head. Bea is filled with survivor’s guilt and liar’s guilt. She can’t talk to her dad about her dreams because that brings up painful memories for her father. Bea’s brother doesn’t want anything to do with her because he views her as the reason, his mother is dead. It’s no wonder she is vulnerable. The ending wraps up almost too quickly, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. As a parent of a seventeen-year-old girl, the whole thing just makes me enraged, from Bea’s father’s distance to her teacher’s taking advantage. But if I were alone within my family, as a seventeen-year-old girl like Bea, I might find it all very romantic. Ugh! Four stars for keeping me so engaged and angry.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Review: Silver in the Blood

Silver in the Blood Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In the late 1890’s, Dacia and Lou, two American cousins, go to Romania to meet the other half of their family. Dacia has had a “scandal” in England, so this opportunity is well timed to get her away from that and perhaps see to it that her reputation is not quite ruined. While visiting the family, the girls meet their scary grandmother, and try to figure out why everyone is keeping secrets about a later family meeting. It frustrates them and causes them to get into all sorts of trouble while they look for clues.

This is a quick, fun fantasy/historical romance, that would be appropriate for middle schoolers. The romance doesn’t overwhelm the mystery aspect, which is foreshadowed heavily early on, so it should not be a big shock when the family secret is revealed. The girls are proper young ladies of the times, so nothing untoward happens in the romance area to make younger readers uncomfortable. I’ll be buying this whole series for my library.

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