Book Review Everthing is Fine. by Ann Dee Ellis

Posted as part of Tween Tuesday, hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen.
Everything Is Fine. by Ann Dee Ellis
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: March 2009
ISBN: 9780316013642
Source: Library

Everything Is Fine.

Mazzy's family is far from normal.  Her father is gone and her mother won't get out of bed.  But, Mazzy is determined to keep everyone at bay, but telling them everything is fine.  She is also determined to have a regular life - flirting with the boy next door and worrying about why she is so flat-chested.  But, these worries will be interrupted by real life all too often.  Will she ever be able to really mean it when she tells people everything is fine?

Things I Liked:
It was a heartbreaking and painfully real look at one girl's difficult life.  I love how Ellis has managed to make the book not wholly depressing, despite the subject, with hopeful parts and glimmers of good things.  Also, it was nice to have some "normal" experiences where Mazzy does some of those things all tweens do.  Mazzy was such a tough character, unwilling to give up on her family and fighting hard to save her mother, all while dealing with adolescence essentially alone.  A difficult but important book.

Things I Didn't Like:
It was very episodic, though I don't know that this is a bad thing necessarily.  I also had a hard time believing (and maybe this makes me look naive) that things got that bad for her and no one did anything.  Admittedly, the social worker kept coming, but there should have been more concern from neighbors (I hope).  

Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

s-factor: !
a few

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->
not violent necessarily, but fairly disturbing sometimes

Overall rating: ****

Difficult but important books - what are your favorites?

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