My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer: 03/26/12
My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer by Jennifer Gennari, June Farrell just wants to bake pies and hang out with her best friend. Instead she has to contend with her mother wanting to get married to her longtime girl friend and the neighbors taking sides against civil unions for same sex couples.
June spends a good chunk of this novel bouncing between anger and fear. Her anger is directed not only at the friends and neighbors she feels has betrayed her and her mother, but also at Eva, her soon to be stepmother. She's also sometimes angry at her mother and wishes a few times that her mother were straight and that she had a father.
I suppose June's conflicted feelings are there to let her play Devil's advocate in the debate over same sex marriage. Her intense feelings, though, weren't grounded in a firm enough foundation. We're told that her mother opted to have a baby on her own using a sperm bank. We're told that her best friend's father has been a help to her mother and a bit of a father figure for June.
But this is all done with very little show and a whole lot of tell. The result is that I never felt like I truly knew or understood June or any of the other characters in the book. Characterization seemed to be sacrificed for making sure all the different arguments in the issue of same sex marriage were touched on.
Read via NetGalley.
Comment #1: Monday, April 02, 2012 at 08:09:45
Wonder what age group this is for - looks like middle school? Sounds cool!
Comment #2: Monday, April 02, 2012 at 16:26:08
According to Titlewave, it's written for grades 3 to 6. From the content, I think it could even be used in junior high.