03 December 2008
Say the Word, Jeannine Garsee
What makes a family? Is a family a mom, a dad and children? Is a family two women and children? Is a family a dad and a child? These are some of the questions that are asked and answered in this gritty story written by the talented Jeannine Garsee. Her follow-up book to Before, After and Somebody in Between is clear cut winner and establishes Ms. Garsee as force to be reckoned with in the YA literary world. She writes characters as she sees them; some are lovable and some are downright loathsome. Shawna Gallagher's life changed ten years ago when she was seven years old and her mom walked out on her and her dad--for another woman. Good Girl Shawna will attend medical school and follow her father's rules to the letter. Bad Girl Shawna wants to make out with Devon and focus on her art. She also can't stand the word Lesbian. Good Girl Shawna wants to respect her mother's deathbed wishes. Bad Girl Shawna wants nothing to do with her mom's lover, Fran and her two sons. In a story that focuses on family and friendship and how these relationships evolve, Shawna is a good teenager who doesn't want to be good anymore. When her mom dies of a stroke, she must spend time with her mom's lover, Fran and their two sons, Arye and Schmule. With subtle prejudices, Shawna realizes that she wasn't the only person who was affected by her mom's decisions as well. Shawna's best friend, LeeLee is the only person that she can trust and talk to, but LeeLee also holds a secret that could threaten to destroy their friendship. Shawna has lived with the choices that were made for her by her mother and her father. When Shawna realizes that she doesn't want live with those decisions, she takes matters into her own hands and the consequences are far reaching. With delicate humor and gritty storyline, Ms. Garsee delivers a winner with Say the Word. Her characters jump out of the book and are your friends. She is also master of creating the worst humans ever known, and Dr. Gallagher is definitely high up on that list. Like Martha's mom in Before/After, Dr. Gallagher is the epitome of evil, all the while deluding himself that everything he's done was for the greater good. Say The Word is published by Bloomsbury USA and will be released March of 2009.
Posted by Laura Benson
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