Friday, August 10, 2012

Book Review: "Girl Unmoored" by Jennifer Gooch Hummer

Darn you, Jennifer Gooch Hummer, for making me cry while marveling at your storytelling ability!!

Apron Bramhall is having a tough time of things. It's 1985, and things aren't going as well as she'd hoped—her best friend decided she'd rather be friends with a more popular girl, her mother died not too long ago, and her evil stepmother is pregnant. But luckily, Jesus saves her—or at least Mike, the actor who plays the lead in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar and bears more than a passing resemblance to the real thing. And as she starts spending time with Mike and his boyfriend, Chad, she begins to realize that she's not the only one with problems—and some have more serious ones than she does.

As Apron gets to know Mike and Chad better, and they offer her a summer job in their flower shop, Scent Appeal, she confronts the prejudices of those in her town, and learns more about what love means and how much it can cost. And as things begin to disintegrate at home, she learns more about people and their true feelings than she ever thought she would.

Once again, I am tremendously impressed by the state of so-called "young adult" fiction these days. I found this book to be beautifully written, poignant, and thought provoking, even as it was breaking my heart, and I felt like all of the characters are fairly well drawn. The transformation Apron undergoes is a realistic one, and you can actually see her eyes opening to the world around her, so she can stop feeling sorry for herself and start feeling for others. Jennifer Gooch Hummer is an amazing writer with so much promise, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next. And I'd love to see what's next for Apron and the other characters in the book. Bravo!

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