Monday, January 3, 2011

Everything I Was by Corinne Demas

Imagine moving out of a penthouse into an old farm house with your grandfather.  Her life was over!

Carolrhoda Lab, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Company, and Net Galley offered me an eGalley of this book to review (thank you).  It will be published in April as a hardcover and as an Adobe eReader. 

Irene had good friends, a familiar routine and loved her life in the penthouse.  But when her father lost his job and they had to downsize, the penthouse had to go.  Irene's mother liked the best of everything and did a lot of impulse buying.  There were no savings and their debt was staggering.  Luckily grandfather had room for them.

Ms. Demas does a very good job of explaining Irene's despair and regret at leaving New York and moving into the country where her grandfather raises flowers.  She also shows how important having a grandparent around can be in a child's young adult life.

I spent a lot of time with my grandparents when I was growing up and I learned a lot from them.  Some of my learning came from being willing to listen to them.  Some of it came from the fact that they explained things my parents might not.  And some of it came from the fact that they had different experiences from my parents and viewed life differently.  Irene finds that as she spends time with her grandfather she's developing a different perspective, too.

The job loss and change in finances stresses her mother out.  Her father spends all his time trying to find another job.  Her grandfather is willing to sell part of the farm to pay for her schooling at the private school.  And no one has ever asked Irene what she wants to do.  That changes!

All the characters in this story are realistic and have vibrant personalities.  The family down the road is a wonderful mishmash of characters with varying personalities. 

This story will capture the attention of it's young adult readers and keep them turning pages to see how Irene works out all her problems.  This is a coming of age story, very nicely done. 

Check with your local bookstore in April and get a copy.  Your child will enjoy it!

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