In Blog

Okay, so I’m up early to go down to Wilmington (Bristol Books! 7pm! Tonight!) and I find this latest review on Amazon:

From Booklist
Gr. 9-12. Dessen returns to a familiar theme and recognizable characters: the “perfect” girl at odds with a controlling mother and keeping boys at arm’s length because of father issues. Here the girl is Macy Queen. Her father has died, her mother can’t grieve, and every time Macy tries to break out of the automaton state in which she is trapped, Mrs. Queen reels her back. Macy gets a job with a catering company, whose employees mirror and mask similar emotions to her own–among them, a girl who is scarred on the outside, but not on the inside, and two motherless brothers, the older of whom, Wes, helps Macy break through. As is often the case with Dessen, the novel is a mixed bag. Much of it is wonderful. At its purest, the writing reaches directly into the hearts of teenage girls: Macy’s games of “truth” with Wes are unerringly conceived, sharply focused on both characters and issues. Yet a subplot about Macy’s job at the library features cardboard characters and unbelievable situations. This seesawing between spot-on observations and superfluous scenes slows the pace and makes readers wait too long for the book’s best moments. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Which is not the best review in the world. But, not the worst either. I’ve heard from a couple of librarian friends that there’s been some concern about the fact that Macy works at the library info desk, and how that might not be exactly realistic and therefore bothersome to librarians. Also I have gotten a couple of questions about why I chose the library at all for Macy to work, and if I meant to give it any kind of bad connotation. And the answer is:

No. Oh, no, no. The last thing I’d ever want to do is displease librarians. I love librarians! Seriously, though, here’s the thing: I needed a job that would be as different as possible from the one Macy gets with Wish Catering, i.e. something that would indictate a workplace that was organized and professional and, well, somewhat calm. At first, I thought of having her work at a bookstore, but then decided the library was a better fit. So that’s how it happened.

Anyway. I’m choosing to approach this review as I have many others, by picking out one line and just keeping it in my head. For this one, I’ll go with “Much of it is wonderful.” Which is better than “some of it,” or “a little of it,” or, God forbid, “None of it.” I’ll take the Much, thanks. Muchly.

Off to the beach! I’ll let you all know how it goes. Have a good day everyone!