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Tag Archives: complex mother-daughter relationship

Review: House Broken

Review: House Broken

Title: House Broken
Author: Sonja Yoerg
Published: 2015
Length: 325 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

After her mother is badly injured in a drunk-driving accident, Geneva Novak reluctantly take her in while she recovers. Geneva resents her mother’s irresponsible behavior as well as her attitude towards her and tries to sober her up, but Helen is relentless in her pursuit of the numbing powers of alcohol. Her most painful memories have nothing to do with the car wreck, however, but rather with her unhappy marriage and secrets that she’s kept–and drowned in liquor–for decades. Her presence in the Novak household threatens to upend both Geneva’s childhood memories and her entire family in ways that none of them could have ever anticipated.

Note: this review is mostly spoiler-free. I’ve included some spoilers in my Goodreads review.

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Review: Along for the Ride

Review: Along for the Ride

Title: Along for the Ride
Author: Sarah Dessen
Published: 2009
Length: 383 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

When Auden West receives a souvenir from her brother who is backpacking in Europe, it inspires her to spend her last summer before college visiting her father and stepmother in the quaint beach town of Colby instead of closeted in her childhood home. Her relaxing vacation, however, quickly becomes a whirlwind adventure for Auden, whose focus in high school was academics rather than a social life. Yet even as she steps outside of her comfort zone and into the “world of girls,” Auden also finds herself reliving the trauma of the end of her parents’ marriage and remembering all her own guilt and insecurities as tensions in the house rise.

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Review: The Chaos of Stars

Review: The Chaos of Stars

Title: The Chaos of Stars
Author: Kiersten White
Published: 2013
Length: 281 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ★

[7/15 novels in November]

Sixteen-year-old Isadora is the daughter of the Egyptian gods Isis and Osiris, but unlike her family, she is mortal and desperate to escape. When Isis announces that she is pregnant again and has been having foreboding dreams, Isadora convinces her mother to send her to live in San Diego with her brother Sirus. In the U.S., Isadora immediately begins rebelling against her mother’s attempts to control her life. However, she soon discovers that she cannot sever ties with Egypt so easily after all.

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Review: Fracture

Review: Fracture

Title: Fracture
Author: Megan Miranda
Published: 2012
Length: 264 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ★ ¾

[6/15 novels in November]

Delaney Maxwell should not have survived her accident at Falcon Lake, even though her best friend Decker managed to pull her out of the icy water. But Delaney does survive, and despite what her CAT scans say, she seems to suffer no ill effects from her brush with death. However, everyone she knows treats her differently, and she feels inexplicably drawn to people who are themselves about to die. Confused and afraid, Delaney turns to a mysterious young man who also survived against the odds as the rest of her world falls to pieces around her.

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Review: Paint Me a Monster

Review: Paint Me a Monster

Title: Paint Me a Monster
Author: Jane Baskin
Published: 2014
Length: 352 pages

My star rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★

Warning: This review (and novel) contain frank discussions of child abuse, mental illness, and eating disorders.

[4/15 novels in November]

What would sixteen-year-old Rinnie say to that fear-struck four-year-old girl?”

I guess I’d kneel down and hug her. And tell her, very softly, that she’s not alone, that I’ll protect her, that I won’t leave her. I’d tell her everyone gets scared and that it’s OK to cry. Crying is a way to call for help.”

Silence. “Rinnie,” Mr. Algrin whispers. “You are that little girl.”

Margo “Rinnie” Gardener is the middle child in an upper-middle-class family living in suburban Cincinnati. She leads a privileged life, growing up in a beautiful house wearing beautiful clothes—but as Rinnie gets older, her fairy tale world turns dark. Her parents divorce, her father drifts further and further away, and her mother takes everything out on Rinnie. As she struggles to cope with her changing reality, Rinnie turns inward until she seizes control of the only thing left in her power: her own body.

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Review: Madapple

Review: Madapple

Title: Madapple
Author: Christina Meldrum
Published: 2008
Length: 404 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Aslaug lives an isolated life in Maine with her eccentric and abusive mother, Maren. Though Aslaug is bright and observant, Maren has kept her ignorant of many things, including the identity of her absent father. Her mother’s sudden death plunges her into a world of confusion. When she finally discovers a connection to her past, her life is turned upside-down, and everything she thought she knew is suddenly challenged.

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Review: Down from the Mountain

Review: Down from the Mountain

Title: Down from the Mountain
Author: Elizabeth Fixmer
Published: 2015
Length: 276 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ★

Eva lives on an isolated religious compound near Boulder, Colorado. She is a member of Righteous Path, a tiny cult that her mother joined when she was just five. Now fourteen, she is considered an “adult” by the Path’s charismatic but temperamental leader, Ezekiel. He puts Eva in charge of jewelry-making, their only source of income. When she accompanies one of Ezekiel’s numerous wives to Boulder to sell her wares, she is exposed to the outside world for the first time in a decade. She soon begins remembering what she was supposed to forget and questioning everything she has been taught—all while life on the compound becomes ever-more dangerous.

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