Sunday, December 28, 2014

Hyacinth Girls by Lauren Frankel

What They Say...A stunning debut about a young teenager on the brink and a parent desperate to find the truth before it's too late.
Thirteen year old Callie is accused of bullying at school, but Rebecca knows the gentle girl she's raised must be innocent. After Callie is exonerated, she begins to receive threatening notes from the girl who accused her, and as these notes become desperate, Rebecca feels compelled to intervene. As she tries to save this unbalanced girl, Rebecca remembers her own intense betrayals and best-friendships as a teenager, when her failure to understand those closest to her led to tragedy. She'll do anything to make this story end differently. But Rebecca doesn't€™t understand what'€™s happening or who is truly a victim, and now Callie is in terrible danger.

This raw and beautiful story about the intensity of adolescent emotions and the complex identity of a teenage girl looks unflinchingly at how cruelty exists in all of us, and how our worst impulses can estrange us from ourselves - or even save us.

What I Say....As the parent of three daughters, I saw lots of truths in this book.  As mothers, we see the innocent babies we gave birth to, even when they have become devious teenaged girls.

From the beginning, you know Callie isn't being entirely honest, but you also can't believe that she could be completely guilty of the bullying behavior that she is being accused of either.

Callie has started out life in a challenging position.  She is being raised by her mother's best friend because her mother and father are both dead, both deaths due to ongoing years of domestic drama.  But Callie seems to be a well-adjusted girl, in with the popular crowd, pretty and socially active.

Rebecca sees what she wants to see, and tries to cope by babying Callie out of her bad moods.  She isn't putting all of the pieces together; Callie's frequent illnesses, wearing old clothes every day, not showering, and avoiding her friends, all signs that Callie has become the bullied.

Lots of mom tears reading this book, but I will say that the story might have moved faster if some of the back story of Callie's mom and dad had come sooner in the book.

Powerful story by a new voice, I would definitely recommend.

Thank you to Net Galley and Crown Publishing for providing me with and ARC to review.

Current Goodreads rating 3.50
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