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Summary: 16-year-old Gretchen doesn’t fit in at The Manhattan School for Art and Music, something weird is going on between her parents, and her best friend seems to be avoiding her.
Review: This one was just okay for me.
I was liking the story until about halfway through when the action slowed way down. I’m not spoiling anything you can’t get from the Amazon description—and maybe I’m outing myself as a jaded old married lady—but in particular, I could have done without the pages of reflection on the male anatomy.
The pace picks up again in the last 30 pages or so. But after no real action for so long, it seemed like everything wrapped a little too neatly.
Here’s a taste so you can decide for yourself. Gretchen is talking to her best friend, Katya, about a guy named Titus:
Later that afternoon, Sanchez the gym teacher makes us play dodgeball, which leaves bruises all over my legs. I’m not that fast, and I get hit a lot. Titus hits me twice.
“Do you think it means something?” I ask Katya after gym, sitting on the locker room bench in a towel.
Katya is naked in the shower like that’s a normal way to have a conversation. She’s washing her hair like she’s just everyday naked in front of people.
Well, we are everyday naked in front of people. Gym is five days a week, shower required. But anyway, Katya is having a naked conversation like it doesn’t even bother her, which it obviously doesn’t—even though she’s not built like a model, just regular.
The locker room is so cramped and tiny that I can feel the warm spray of her shower water on my knee as I’m sitting on the bench.
“It would have meant something if we were sixth graders,” says Katya, scrunching her eyes as she rinses out the shampoo.
“Like what would it mean?”
“You want to hear me say it?” She’s laughing.
“It would have meant that he liked you back.”
“I didn’t say I liked him,” I mutter.
Your Turn: When’s the last time you were happily trucking along in a book but then you lost interest?
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