Gr 7-10-Faye, 14, feels worthless and oppressed. Her father, a struggling musician, left her and her mother years earlier, her mother is full of anger and takes it out on the teen, and her two neighborhood friends have convinced her that if you aren't attractive, the only way to make it in life is to take what you want. The novel, which is set in 1984 Brooklyn, opens with Faye and her friends staking out a former movie star's apartment so they can take her money. The robbery goes awry and the elderly lady ends up sprawled across the floor. Faye finds herself returning to the scene of the crime a few days later. What ensues is a journey to find herself. Faye befriends the old woman and begins to question her life choices. Faye's mother is realistically flawed, as are all of the adults in the novel, and Blythe offers no easy solutions for turning one's life around. The tough-talking Faye slips up and her road to maturity isn't smooth. This realistic portrayal of emotions, decisions, and hardships will appeal to teens who are also struggling with their identities.-Tammy Turner, Centennial High School, Frisco, TXα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
If beauty is on the inside, Faye certainly doesn’t have much going for her at the start of this book, set in Brooklyn in the mid-1980s. She and her friends rob an elderly woman who they believe was once a movie star. During the robbery, Faye accidentally injures Evelyn quite severely. Haunted by guilt, and desperate to find a way to escape her mother’s abusive home as much as she can, Faye returns to the apartment to check on Evelyn, and the two develop the most unlikely of friendships. This is a classic coming-of-age story wherein Faye must face her own burden of responsibility and break free from the detrimental expectations of others. Peppered with ’80s pop-culture references, but otherwise untethered to the era, the book sometimes feels dated instead of retro. But Faye’s personal growth and her eventual escape from a dark home life are rewarding, as is the quirky friendship between Faye and Evelyn, from which Faye learns much about responsibility and individuality. Grades 6-9. --Heather Booth --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Editorial Reviews