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2010
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Publishers Weekly Review
A story of how it feels to be an outsider, Kelly's debut follows the complex and candid thoughts of 16-year-old Drea, who is diagnosed with ADHD and borderline Asperger's syndrome. She is highly intelligent, but certain tasks, such as driving, and social interactions are challenging ("All I know is I make sense to me--it's other people who seem complicated," she says). When she and her flighty mother move to yet another town to live with her ornery grandmother Drea wants to crawl into her shell. But then she meets flamboyant, attention-seeker Naomi and sensitive Justin, both of whom share the burden of unstable families and imperfect pasts. The trio bonds over a mutual love for making trip-hop music and a desire to trust someone, but Naomi's taste for danger and drugs soon distances her from her new friends. While Naomi's self-destruction follows a predictable downward spiral, the novel's strength lies in Drea's dynamic personality: a combination of surprising immaturity, childish wonder, and profound insight. Her search for stability and need to escape being labeled is poignant and convincing. Ages 14-up. (May) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-Drea is a high school junior in a new town, navigating through social networks that are extraordinarily uncomfortable for her because she has Asperger's syndrome. She is clueless to teen innuendo, body language, and facial cues. Her creativity flourishes in music as it is specific, precise, and as clear as the black-and-white keyboard. She is befriended by Naomi, who has a beautiful voice but dances too close to danger. Justin is kind, good-looking, and somewhat mysterious. He is a gifted pianist, and the teens form a trio. For Drea, first love with Justin is tricky, but seems no more so than for any young person. There are more times than not when she seems comfortable following Naomi along her turbulent path, which includes shoplifting, drug use, and an abusive relationship. Through Drea's eyes, readers see a cast of drama-teens self-absorbed in their edgy lifestyles. Unfortunately, there is just too much disharmony here and too little of what makes Drea tick.-Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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