Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Trauma Queen (MG)

Trauma Queen. Barbara Dee. 2011. Simon & Schuster. 272 pages.

I am standing outside homeroom in yellow flannel monkey pajamas.
Everyone else is dressed normally: jeans, track pants, sweaters, whatever.
Apparently because today, Monday, February 3, is not Pajama Day at Crampton Middle School. Also apparently I am the only one who is celebrating Pajama Day, because I am the only one whose mother told her it was Pajama Day. 

Marigold doesn't always love her mom. You see, Marigold's mom is a performance artist. She does crazy, crazy, embarrassing things in front of people...on purpose. Sometimes Marigold wishes her Mom could really stick to one performance: normal, sane, ordinary mother of two. But that's a role she rarely does.

Trauma Queen is about new beginnings. Marigold's family is starting over--again. The last town, well, it didn't end so well. On the positive side, Marigold made a friend--a really good friend--a girl named Emma. And things seemed to be going well until Emma's mom met Marigold's mom. Then it got UGLY, UGLY, SUPER-UGLY. Now Emma isn't allowed to speak with her...at all. So it's just as well, I suppose, that they did start over in a new town. But some things Marigold can't really forget.

One of the things that I LOVED about Trauma Queen were the characters. I thought they were well-developed. I loved how we get to know Marigold's family: her mom, her sister, Kennedy, her Gram. I especially loved to see the conversations between Mari and her Gram. I did. I loved how we get to know Marigold's classmates. Those that like Marigold (Layla, Ethan, Brody, etc.). And those that don't (Jada). WE get to see the tensions in her class. And it's so well done! It felt very authentic. I thought the author did a great job with showing not telling.

It was easy to love Marigold. It was easy to sympathize with her. But it was also easy--at least for me--to see the Mom's strengths. I couldn't not like the Mom. I couldn't. And when she started working with some of Marigold's classmates in an after school program, well, I admired her all the more. Was she perfect? No. Of course not. But she was not "the enemy" out to ruin her daughter's life. Seeing Gram, Mom, and Marigold together, well, it felt right. This novel has substance and depth.

I would definitely recommend Trauma Queen. I've also read This is Me From Now On.

My favorite quote:

But how do you know you're seeing things through your own eyes? Maybe you think you are, but really, you're just collecting other people's points of view. Maybe you're seeing the world through their eyes, and you don't even know it. (211)


© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 comments:

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

Pageloads Counter

Search Book Blogs Search Engine

The background is based on a background I found here...with some small adjustments on my part so it would work with the template.
Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP