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Girl Unmoored Paperback – March 6, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Intrusion: A Novel
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Middle school is purgatory for Apron Bramhall. Her mother is dead. Her best friend Rennie has fallen under the spell of the local Queen Bee. Margie (aka "M"), the Brazilian nurse who cared for her late parent, has literally moved in on her depressed Latin professor father, all the while trying to dispose of Apron's beloved pet guinea pig. It's a classic case of things can't get worse, but they do quickly in this fast-paced bildungsroman set in 1980s coastal Maine. When Dad announces his plans to marry the devious M--a prospect that excites no one--the 7th-grader has to grow up quickly. But the ruckus she inadvertently causes at their hastily arranged church wedding propels her literally headlong into the lives of Mike and Chad, a gay couple who run a local flower shop and are coming to terms with their own struggles. The bittersweet story of their friendship and the young adolescent's gradual understanding and acceptance of their doomed relationship is infused with love and punctuated with wry good humor. The rapid fire dialogue helps along an ambitious first novel... Apron may be adrift, but Hummer's debut is on track. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/20/2012


Maine Literary Awards, Winner YA Fiction

Moonbeam Book Award 2012, YA Mature Issues

Indie Excellence Awards 2012, Winner Cross-Genre Fiction

Next Generation Indie Awards 2012, Winner YA Fiction

Paris Book Festival Award 2012, Winner YA Fiction

San Francisco Book Festival Award 2012, Winner Teen Fiction

International Book Awards 2012, Finalist Best New Book

Next Generation Indie Awards 2012, Finalist Chick-Lit Fiction

International Book Awards 2012, Finalist YA Fiction

Reader Views Kids Award Winner, Best Teen/YA Book of the Year, 2012

Reader Views Winner, Best Teen/YA Fiction 2012

Foreword Book of The Year Finalist, YA Fiction 2012

"Girl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer may be the undiscovered young-adult novel of the summer"
-- Entertainment Weekly

"I have very rarely encountered a debut novel that would have touched me so deeply... I simply can not recommend this book highly enough-"
-- The Seattle Post

"Girl Unmoored helps moor us all."
-- The Portland Press Herald

“Poignant, candid, and heartbreakingly unique, Girl Unmoored is the best debut novel I’ve read in 2012.”
–- Reader Girls

“I think you should just trust me when I say read it. Put down whatever mish-mash you’re reading and find this book.”
-- Anthology of a Girl

"Girl Unmoored is on its way to becoming a classic coming-of-age.”
–- The Divining Wand

"Holy Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Batman! There is a new coming of age novel on the scene and it’s awesome!"
–- Well Read Wife

"Read this book. You will feel human and alive."
-- Write Meg

"A haunting debut. It frankly took my breath away."
-- Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You

"A masterful debut- a must-read!"
-- Elise Allen, New York Times bestselling co-author of Populazzi

"Girl Unmoored breaks through the wall around your heart, giving it room to expand."
-- Susan Henderson, bestselling author of Up from the Blue

"A quirky coming-of-age tale that will break your heart one minute and have you laughing out loud the next."
-- Beth Hoffman, New York Times bestselling author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

"Fierce, funny, deeply eloquent, and unerringly honest. What a dazzling novel!"
-- Gwendolen Gross, bestselling author of The Orphan Sister

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Fiction Std (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936558300
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936558308
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,608,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Amy on June 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is not a book that I would have picked up on my own I don't think. The overview sounds good and it has a pretty cover, but it's nothing that really would grab my attention. That being said, I LOVED this book. It was beautiful and heartbreaking. It has some very serious issues in it, and a really great message. A few actually. I was immediately immersed in Apron's life and hoped needed to know that things would work out for her. This thirteen year old girl goes through so much in a few months and she still manages to hold it together. She is a very strong character, but she is also still just a young girl. This book made my heart ache.

Apron is such a great character. She is missing her mother who died, dealing with her new step mother who happens to be pregnant, and pretty much hates Apron and her father doesn't really help matters. He is forever siding with M as Apron calls her. She has lost her best friend to the popular girl and in general just feels so alone and sad. She ends up befriending Mike who owns a flower shop with his boyfriend Chad and after a while ends up helping them out there. This isn't without other complications though. Things at home aren't great, and the secret that Chad has is making things difficult at the flower shop too. If I was in Apron's situation there is no way I could have handled myself the way she does.

Apron's father is a Latin professor and tends to be really busy with school stuff even at home so he is more of an absent parent. It's not that he's not around, but he isn't there for Apron when she needs him mentally. He fails to see how horrible M is to her. He doesn't see how much Apron needs to know that he loves her and will be there for her. That he hasn't forgotten her for M and the new sibling that will be coming.
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Format: Paperback
Seize The Day (!) and read "Girl Unmoored" for an original voice that will ring in your ears long after the last page. Apron Bramhall is an engaging, intrepid narrator who takes you along for a bumpy ride, selling cast offs out of an old red wagon, and gaining strength and inspiration from a guinea pig, a flower arranging prophet and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Apron's life is full of surprises -- good and bad -- but her worldview always give you hope and a smile, even if it's sometimes through tears.
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Format: Paperback
Apron is just finishing up the seventh grade and has had a pretty rough year. Her mom passed away and her dad has started a relationship with Margie (or M, as Apron calls her). Margie is from Brazil and had been her mom's nurse, but now lives with Margie and her dad. She is on a work visa in the United States and Apron believes is looking for Mr. Right so that she will not have to leave. Meanwhile, that is all that Apron wants her to do -- leave.

To top it off, her best friend Rennie has decided that it is time for them to make other friends, so has pretty much abandoned her as well. Now M is pushing to get rid of The Boss, Apron's guinea pig! Before you can blink an eye, it is announced that she is pregnant and is marrying Apron's dad. She is not looking forward to summer having to be around M all the time!

As luck would have it, she is left in a church with her next door neighbor's nephew, who she had seen in the musical, Jesus Christ Superstar. Apron was there as it was her dad's wedding day and Mike was there with his partner Chad decorating for a wedding. Together they ran a flower store called Scents Appeal. They enlisted Apron to help with the decorations and it was the beginning of a great friendship. It also opened Apron up to a world in the 80's that not a lot of people had experience with. At 13, it was a lot to handle. I don't want to say any more about it, as I don't want to spill Chad's secret.

It was really a coming-of-age story for Apron, as she learned to deal with the different ways that you can love people and that sometimes you didn't have to do anything for someone to hate you. This was Jennifer's debut novel and I can't wait to see what she writes next. I definitely look forward to reading more of her work in the future.
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Format: Paperback
Oh, what a novel! Apron navigates the rock terrain of loss with grit and real grace--and humor. The writing sparkles on the page and I guarantee the story will haunt you. In just one novel, Hummer establishes herself as a writer to watch.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Darn you, Jennifer Gooch Hummer, for making me cry while marveling at your storytelling ability!!

Apron Bramhall is having a tough time of things. It's 1985, and things aren't going as well as she'd hoped--her best friend decided she'd rather be friends with a more popular girl, her mother died not too long ago, and her evil stepmother is pregnant. But luckily, Jesus saves her--or at least Mike, the actor who plays the lead in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar and bears more than a passing resemblance to the real thing. And as she starts spending time with Mike and his boyfriend, Chad, she begins to realize that she's not the only one with problems--and some have more serious ones than she does.

As Apron gets to know Mike and Chad better, and they offer her a summer job in their flower shop, Scent Appeal, she confronts the prejudices of those in her town, and learns more about what love means and how much it can cost. And as things begin to disintegrate at home, she learns more about people and their true feelings than she ever thought she would.

Once again, I am tremendously impressed by the state of so-called "young adult" fiction these days. I found this book to be beautifully written, poignant, and thought provoking, even as it was breaking my heart, and I felt like all of the characters are fairly well drawn. The transformation Apron undergoes is a realistic one, and you can actually see her eyes opening to the world around her, so she can stop feeling sorry for herself and start feeling for others. Jennifer Gooch Hummer is an amazing writer with so much promise, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next. And I'd love to see what's next for Apron and the other characters in the book. Bravo!
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