From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up—Tess's parents have recently separated, and the teen and her mother have moved from Chicago to Michigan to start over. Once there, Tess finds herself inexplicably attracted to Micah, an angst-ridden boy who belittles her, contrasting her with his "true love," Daisy. Sprinkled throughout the story are italicized phrases—assertive responses that Tess lacks the self-esteem to voice aloud. In an epiphany, she realizes that her attraction to Micah stems from his familiarity: her father is insulting and abusive in the same way, and she begins to speak out, expressing the internal dialogue she has been having all along. Albatross
is a startlingly realistic portrayal of emotionally abusive relationships. Its message to young women is clear: do not put up with men who make you feel bad about yourself.—Leah Krippner, Harlem High School, Machesney Park, IL
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The latest title in the Band Geek series follows 16-year-old French horn player Tess, who falls hard for Micah, an attractive but manipulative and self-centered pianist. Bloss tells an all-too-familiar tale of a young woman perversely attracted to a guy who attempts to control her by sabotaging her self-esteem. Readers will share Tess’ friends’ frustration as she struggles to finally break free of Micah’s magnetism. Similar in theme yet less complex than Patrick Jones’ Things Change (2004), Albatross embeds a fictional lesson into a story of smart characters making foolish choices. Grades 8-11. --Frances Bradburn