First sentence: The truth is, she was ornery and stubborn, wouldn't listen to anybody, and selfish beyond selfish, and filthy, caked with mud and dust, and moody: you'd better watch it or she'd knock you flat.
Premise/plot: When their parents decide to move from the big city to a small town in Maine, Reena and Luke have big adjustments to make. For better or worse, their mom volunteers them to help out a prickly neighbor, Mrs. Falala. At first this means bringing her library books. Then it means taking care of her cow, ZORA. Reena ends up agreeing, somehow, to SHOW the cow at a fair. The book is written--for the most part--in verse.
My thoughts: This book had some potential, in my opinion. But for me, it was "ruined," by the blank verse. I don't mind verse novels if the verse is spectacular and it makes sense for it to be written in verse instead of prose. There are some authors who have mastered this: they have a way with words, with phrases, with building images. What they write is lyrical and deserves the title of poetry. This was just prose masquerading as poetry.
If it had been prose, I think I would have connected more with the characters and the story. I did like the idea of liking this one. Essentially it is the story of two children struggle to connect with an ornery and "mean" neighbor lady, slowly but surely coming to like and respect her. And the two do have to learn a LOT about farm life and taking care of cows. And by working hard and working towards a goal, they do end up growing and stretching as characters.
© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews