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The Lost Marble Notebook of Forgotten Girl & Random Boy Hardcover – April 7, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Two unnamed teenagers find each other on a street corner and realize that they share a love of the written word. Forgotten Girl's parents have just split up and her mother has started drinking. Forgotten Girl copes by journaling about her life, feelings, hopes, and dreams. She meets a very cute boy on the corner one day, and their flirting really takes off when she discovers he is more than just a dude smoking and hanging out on the street; he, too, works through his feelings with a poetry journal. Their romance is chronicled in their verses—they grow close, meet each other's families (with little success), and eventually wind up sleeping together. When Forgotten Girl begins feeling smothered by Random Boy and befriends a boy from her school, things take a scary, violent turn. The book is intense, much like the young couple's relationship. Poetry perfectly captures the heightened emotions of first love. The novel's conceit (that it is Forgotten Girl's notebook and that Random Boy writes in it from time to time) does not always hold up—does he still get to read her journal after they break up? At times, the sophisticated phrasing and vocabulary hint at the adult author rather than reflect the authentic voices of two teens. Nevertheless, the story is realistic, gripping, worrisome yet hopeful. VERDICT Give this to fans of Sonya Sones and Ellen Hopkins.—Geri Diorio, Ridgefield Library, CT
"Realistic, gripping, worrisome yet hopeful. VERDICT: Give this to fans of Sonya Sones and Ellen Hopkins." School Library Journal
"Forgotten Girl is a sophomore whose parents argue, scream, and slam doors. Looking out her bedroom window for salvation and fresh air, she sees Random Boy passing byand soon her life enters a new downward spiral. In this twinned novel in verse, Jaskulka distinguishes the narratives by italicizing Random Boy’s notebook entries. The author’s terse poetic style suits their stilted emotions as girl and boy trudge through hardships in their homes and their own twisted bond. Don’t judge this book by its seemingly lighthearted title or appealing cover; this story plumbs the dark depths of domestic violence." Booklist
"This debut novel-in-verse is both beautiful and rough around the edges. Jaskulka handles her subject matter well, blending the poetry around the gritty details of the story. Each poet has his/her own distinct voice, making the transition between one and the other effortless. Both of these voices are realreal teenagers dealing with some major hardships. This is not an easy read; however, Jaskulka’s characters pepper their story with cynicism and wit. Readers will laugh, cry, and find themselves nodding their heads. Fans of Sonya Sones and Ellen Hopkins will want to get their hands on this novel."—VOYA
"An original love story, arresting and beautiful. Heartbreakingly honest. At moments frightening, but ultimately hopeful." Laura Whitcomb, author of A Certain Slant of Light
"Eloquent, lyrical, combustible, Marie Jaskulka’s debut verse novel will draw you into the world of two teens whose thoughts and words resonate with raw beauty, love, and obsession. Jaskulka reminds us that, deep down, we know when love is real, and when we find itwe find our power." Bridget Birdsall, author of Double Exposure
"This is one of those books I wish I could travel back in time to give to fifteen-year-old me. It’s a lyrical, raw, and honest account of love, losing yourself, and finding your voice, and with it, your inner strength." Stephanie Kuehnert, author of I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone
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It's one of those books that sucks you in and when it's over you sit back and blink and wonder how your world could change so much in such a short period of time.
This is my favorite book of the year so far, and I will be re-reading again soon and going very slow to savior the juicy quotes.
Will Forgotten Girl and Random Boy have a chance at true love? Are they perfect for each other and will they be able to forget their own pain through their special bond? Does their poetry work as a healing factor, one that will bind them forever, or will they go their separate ways in the end?
Forgotten Girl & Random Boy is a beautiful book. I had tears in my eyes while I was reading the poems. They immediately touched my heart and their profound emotional level is fantastic. I loved that Forgotten Girl and Random Boy communicate through their writing. It's a fascinating topic and I was curious to find out what would happen to them. They are having difficulties at home and nobody cares what they're doing and who they are with, which makes them lonely and susceptible to destruction. Marie Jaskulka describes this in a raw and open way and I really loved that.
Forgotten Girl & Random Boy has the most amazing verses. They're moving and compelling at the same time. The writing is accessible and easy to understand, which instantly made me feel connected to Forgotten Girl and Broken Boy. The verses are all stunning and I read them in one sitting. This is a book to read over and over again as every time something new will come to the surface. There are many different emotional layers that are waiting to be explored. Marie Jaskulka is a very talented author and I absolutely loved this book.
I enjoyed the true honesty in the story; the abuse, the changes of the characters as they dealt with this new relationship, and their families which play a big role in the teen’s lives. Random Boy’s belief about girls causes some friction with Forgotten Girl and I enjoyed the tension that it brought to the relationship. I thought perhaps it could have helped their relationship had she done something different yet she choose to fight back. Her fighting back said something about her personality, and it altered their relationship. I thought the book did a great job showing how abuse can control a relationship and change the individuals involved.