Sunday, May 14, 2017

Behind Closed Doors by Miriam Halahmy - ADVISABLE

Halahmy, Miriam Behind Closed Doors, 242 pages.  Holiday House, 2017.  $17.  Language: PG (17 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG-13 (drinking, worry of rape); Violence: PG (threatened with knife, some blood).

The rule in Josie’s house is that you never invite people over.  Until now, Josie’s room has been safe from all of the things her mother is constantly bringing home, but it’s the last straw when Mom fills Josie’s room up with boxes and bags.  When she turns 16 next month, she’s out of there.  Tash has learned to live with all of the boyfriends her mother brings home, but the latest one is super creepy and Tash is sure he is just trying to get her alone and vulnerable so that he can force himself on her.  Then Josie’s mom is arrested for not paying her property taxes and Tash has to flee her place when the boyfriend is particularly aggressive and she forces her way into Josie’s place.

There’s a lot more that I could explain, but won’t.  Halahmy covers a lot of issue in her book, including having one of Mom’s ex-cellmates force their way into Josie’s place looking for Josie’s inheritance from her grandfather.  Its is almost too much and becomes a little hokey at times for me as an adult reader.  If you want a really good book about hoarding, read Family Game night and Other Catastrophies by Mary E. Lambert instead – she really looks at the family dynamics and hoarding issues really well.  This one is quite fine if you want a tense and action-packed book for reluctant readers. 

MS – ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

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