Gr. 10-12. Angry and alienated teens seem to be growing ever younger. Doreen, the protagonist of this disturbing coming-of-age novel, is only 14. But in her anomie and hatred of her family, she puts Holden Caulfield in the shade. Like Holden, she tells the story in sarcastic first-person, which is often scalding in its use of expletives (at one point the f
word appears 63 times in one and on-half pages), but still manages to be oddly artful in its consistency and voice. Despite her tough talk and her tendency to self-pity, Doreen gradually grows into a complex, intriguing character. Her affection for another young outsider, her only friend, Ted, is touching; her longing for her older brother, whom her father kicked out of the house when she was a girl, is haunting; and her confused feelings for her older sister's boyfriend are absolutely credible. When he sexually abuses her, readers share her pain, confusion, and despair. The ending to this difficult story is surprisingly hopeful and emotionally satisfying, if not entirely believable. This was published for adults, but it's clearly for teens--though it will best suit those readers mature enough to embrace its attitudes and edginess. Michael CartCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
From the Back Cover
A fourteen-year-old trying to find her way in the world, Doreen is as much an outcast at school as she is at home. Marginalized by her peers, misunderstood by her parents, and mourning the loss of her older brother who disappeared when she was just a child, Doreen finds solace in her fierce love of music and in her best friend, Ted.
But when her older sister begins dating a bewildering twenty-one-year-old named Matthew, Doreen must confront feelings she never knew she possessed. Forced into adulthood kicking and screaming (not to mention swearing), Doreen ultimately impels her troubled family to forge a new understanding of the world -- and, maybe more surprisingly, of one another.
High school is bad enough; it's worse when you have only one friend in the world and a family that just doesn't get it. This breathless coming-of-age novel explores the alienation of adolescence and introduces a bold and shimmering new voice in fiction.