Saturday, January 3, 2009
Everything Is Fine - Ann Dee Ellis
Everything is NOT
fine for Mazzy.
Summary (from back of book):
Stuck at home caring for her severely depressed mother and virtually abandoned by her father, Mazzy has no one to turn to except her neighbors and the blank canvases in her mother's art studio. As readers delve into this page-turning novel, they'll discover what it was that first tore Mazzy's family apart, and they'll see what it takes to put it back together.
Despite its serious subject matter, Everything Is Fine approaches the trying age of adolescence with humor and pays tribute to the powerful resilience of a teen unwilling to give up on her family or herself.
I have very mixed feelings about this book. I can't decide whether I really liked it or hated it. I think I stand right on the middle line, where i didn't really like it, and didn't really hate it, I just tolerated it, I guess a word for it is.
In some ways this book is wonderfully crafted. You get bits and pieces of Mazzy's life in the present, while learning things from the past: about what drove her mother into a depression, why her dad moved away, and about Olivia. The way Mazzy deals with things seems somewhat normal for what she had been through. The writing style is also almost like a verse novel, which I enjoy, so I liked that part of it.
On the other hand, though, there were parts of this book that I didn't enjoy. The first is that you never really get a real description of Mazzy. You never find out how old she is, or what she really looks like. I didn't like that, because I couldn't picture the story going on in my head as I read because of that. You get descriptions of all the other characters, just never really Mazzy. The way Mazzy dealt with some things also seemed. . . out of sorts for teenagers. Since you never really find out her real age, it's hard to understand if she's a younger teenager, or even a pre-teen. Some of her actions make her seem like a pre-teen, but the back of the book says teenager.
Overall, this book was okay -and just okay. Not good, not bad. Just in the middle. I might still check out Ann Dee Ellis's other novel, This Is What I Did, but it's not too high up on my list of books to get from the library.
Everything Is Fine is released March 1st.