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?An accomplished novel of profound sorrow.?Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ?Mazer's compassion for adolescents in despair is clear ?and part of the reason for her many successes.?KLIATT --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
In "Girlhearts," Sarabeth's mother unexpectedly dies of a heart attack, barely thirty years old. In a matter of days, Sarabeth finds her world turned upside-down permanently, as she becomes a ward of the state and is taken in by her mother's best friend Cynthia.
Although Cynthia and her husband Billy were always like family to her, Sarabeth finds that living with them is not exactly ideal. Things come to a head until she flees from their home, determined to find out more about her parents' mysterious origins.
While the book is certainly powerful of its own accord, I'm not sure I really like it as a follow-up to "Silver." The Sarabeth that existed in that novel peeks through in a few points here, but is essentially replaced by a hard, grieving replica, which readers may or may not like.
Most compelling in GIRLHEARTS is the conflict Sarabeth faces when dealing with the reactions of the people around her. The relationships Sarabeth has with her school friends are strained as she becomes cynical and hard. Also, the tenuous friendship between her and her mother's old boyfriend, Leo, changes rapidly over the course of the book. These developing conflicts were intriguing, and I eagerly waited to see how they would work out.
However, this was the best part of the book. Other characters seemed flat and lacked depth. Often, Cynthia and Billy's actions seemed pointless --- only occurring because the story needed to be moved along. Sarabeth was realistic only some of the time, and her emotions were often illogical and decidedly hard to believe. Of course, I don't expect to understand completely, never having lost such a close family member myself. Still, the story would have been greatly improved if there were more of a connection between Sarabeth and the reader. This might have been forgivable if the story had been stronger and the outcome more gripping, but because the story was not particularly extraordinary in those areas, it had no room for the uncomfortable flaws in Sarabeth's character.
Still, GIRLHEARTS is worth a read. It is flawed, but it is a fascinating process to watch Sarabeth change and grow as her situation evolves.
--- Reviewed by Mary Crew
Norma Mazer pulls the reader in and lets him/her see how it feels to lose a loved one, and to lose almost everything you have. This is truly a touching book, that makes you think a lot about how lucky you are and how you usually take things for granted. This book is definitely worth reading, and people will be able to experience the pain and sorrow one must go through. Everyone 10 and up should read it!