Tag Archives: fitting in

Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly

I had no intention of liking this book.  The cover didn’t grab me and the jacket made me think this was going to be an “issues” book.  It’s one of my required readings for the GSTBA ballot and I actually tried to pawn it off on someone else!  But I picked it up and started reading and discovered that it’s ok to be wrong sometimes because this was one great book.

Sixteen-year-old Drea has bounced around from place to place, home to home, while her mother chased boyfriends who never seemed to stick around for very long.  They finally end up at her grandmother’s house in Washington.  There, Drea meets Naomi and Justin, two people who love music as much as she does.  But after being diagnosed with ADHD and what her mother deems “a touch of Asperger’s”, Drea has a hard time believing that anyone could simply like her for her.  Why does being “normal” have to be so hard? 

Drea’s story isn’t necessarily new or even told in a groundbreaking way.  We’ve read tons of books about people who have a hard time fitting in.  What makes it special is how nuanced it is.  How rich the characters are.  Take Drea’s mom.  She’s man-crazy.  She’s had boyfriend after boyfriend.  Yet, she’s not your one-dimensional selfish, neglectful mother.  She has faults, but she also loves Drea like crazy.  She comforts Drea.  She’s doing the best she can to take care of her.  And you reallyfeelthat.  And that is what makes the difference.

Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly
Young Adult | 278 pages | Henry Holt & Co. | May 2010 | 080509010X | Library copy





Filed under Book Reviews, Young Adult Literature

Falling In by Frances O’Roark Dowell

Isabelle Bean doesn’t quite fit in.  She’s a quiet girl (but isn’t shy), who talks in riddles (but is never rude).  Her teachers, classmates and even her own mother can’t seem to figure her out.  A fall through a door in the nurses’s office sets Isabelle off on an adventure to figure out who she is and where she belongs.

The world Isabelle falls into is like something out of a fairy tale; fairies stealing babies, witches hunting children.  Despite the fact that the children she meets are running away from the witch, Isabelle thinks it might be interesting to meet one.  She tricks a lost girl named Hen into accompanying her on her journey but instead of a witch, the girls find Grete, a healer who lives alone in the woods.  As Grete teaches Isabelle and Hen the ways of her craft, secrets are revealed and Isabelle finds herself faced with an important decision and shocking information about her true identity.

Falling In by Frances O’Roark Dowell
Juvenile Fiction | 256 pages | March 2010 | Atheneum | 141695032X  | Library copy

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Filed under Book Reviews, Children's Literature