Published December 2011
Challenge: netgalley July
I really enjoyed this book, I thought Landalf did a great job examining the life of a child who has an addict for a parent. One one hand, they have unconditional love and loyalty for the parent, on the other, they have enough of a survival instinct to know when they need to protect themselves from further harm. I know, I grew up with two parents with addictions (not meth in either case). As a teen, I searched for books like this (and rarely found them): stories of teens who live through this terrible situation. As a YA librarian, I hope that books like this wind up in the hands of the kids who need to read them (they need to know IT GETS BETTER).
That said, the three star rating is for the love interest, it was not developed well, and it was not needed. The scenes with The Professor and friends-okay. The scenes with Alan-immature and they actually wrenched me out of the story and made me grimace.
Girls who are dealing with tough situations like this one do not need complicated love interests (the bird symbolism was heavy, and the story did not need the entire Alan-romance subplot, if anything it felt like two separate books smashed together into one). Also, I think the relationship between Stevie and the tutor could have been a little deeper, he was certainly a wonderful male role model for her.
I did feel that the relationship between Stevie and Mindy was very, very realistic!