Author: Carol Lynch Williams
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Rating: 6 out of 10...a high 6.
We were given this book in return for an honest review.
Summary (signed, Goodreads): In trying to reunite with her mother, Winston discovers the many meanings of family and finds friendship in an unexpected place in this coming-of-age novel from the author of Waiting, which Kirkus Reviews, in a starred review, called "exceptional" and Glimpse, which Booklist called "gripping."
Life is just fine for fourteen-year-old Winston. She loves her dog, Thelma, and although she never knew her dad, and her mom left ten years ago in search of Hollywood fame, Winston has family with Nanny, who is in her forties, and that doesn't even make her old. But a "just fine" life gets a lot more exciting when a letter arrives from Skye Harper, aka Judith Fletcher, aka Winston’s mother. She needs help, and Nanny says the best way to give it is to take a cross-country road trip—in a "borrowed" motor home—to go find Mama once and for all. Winston’s not so sure about this plan, but with a cute stowaway named Steve along for company and an adventure on the horizon, this is sure to be a summer to remember.
My Thoughts: I suppose I should start with the cover since it's the first thing that you see. Kristen doesn't like it. She thinks that it's too washed out or something but I don't agree. I liked the cover a lot. I don't have many novels that use this colour palate. I know that isn't really important but I don't care. It needs to be said. It's a cute cover and would pick this novel off the shelf because of it.
The time of this novel threw me. It never flat out told me a year. At least, I didn't notice if it did. The novel gave hints as to the year through references. Talk of Olympics and Elvis and Richard Nixon were my hints. Later in the novel, it becomes clear which Olympics was being discussed; however, I had to have my mother explain what was happening and tell me some back story. I was thus sucked into a very long talk about the Olympics...it was a bit of a boring conversation. The time thing make me sad. I wish it would have started with a date (side note: if it was said than I apologize for not seeing it) but I did enjoy the little history lesson. Related to this is the strange slang. The wording took a little while to get used to. It's not bad, just different.
That way that chapters were divided was a bit annoying. There was a ton of wasted space which means wasted paper which means that recycling was not happening with this novel. So much for being GREEN! Okay, so it didn't bother me that much. I just got a good work out flipping the page all the time.
A MOTHER ISN'T A MOTHER JUST BECAUSE SHE GIVES BIRTH TO YOU. HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION WITH PEOPLE? If your mother is awful to you, please just cut her lose and move on with your life. There is a large chance that you're better off without her. It's harsh, sure, but also probably true. I just want you to have the best life you can have. I don't recommend spending all your money and chasing her down. I hated that whatshisname was basically forcing her to be with her mother.
I wish there would have been more on how it ended. It wrapped up and, I guess, it explained everything. There just wasn't enough. It seemed kind of sudden. I don't really know how to explain it to you except that I was left wanting a lot more than I was given.
I liked that the main character had a thing. She had a thing that she always went back to. It was clear who she was and what she wanted and that she would do anything to get what she wanted. She was steady because she had this thing to tie her down. That makes it even better when she related to others because of this thing. Also, major second hand embarrassment (this word has far too many consonants) ensues. P.S. to women of the world: WEAR A BRA!! Trust me, you look better with it. I would never lie to you.
It's a pretty good book people. You should at least give it a quick flip through before you ignore it. I've never read a novel with the same premise. It was definitely a unique read.
Basically: This was a cute novel but it felt like something was missing. The ending just didn't give me enough. I think this novel had tons of potential but it just didn't meet my expectations. I still enjoyed it though. I think it's a decent YA novel. I can't say I'll read it again but it wasn't a waste of time either.