Friday, March 23, 2018

Don’t Forget Me by Victoria Stevens - OPTIONAL

Stevens, Victoria Don’t Forget Me, 357 pages.  Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2018.  $18.  Language: R (81 swears, 10 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG-13 (teens drinking); Violence: PG (bar fight).

Hazel, 17, has been uprooted from her homeland of England and sent to Australia to live with the father she has never met.  She is holding out hope that she will soon get the call that will mean she can move back home again, but meanwhile she has to deal with a new school, new friends, and a new parent.  She is luckily befriended by a small but loyal group at school and finds another friend on the beach near her house.  Then there is Luca – angry and grieving and a part of both groups.  Luca and Hazel form a tentative mutual support and work to help Luca, at least, work through one of his problems.  When all of Hazel’s final secrets are revealed, however, she’s not sure that anyone will stand beside her.

I’m glad that Stevens decided to keep her narrative pretty simple – with no major new parent drama or a bullying cluttering things up.  Instead we see a poignant look at grief and mourning and relationship building that is tender and earnest.  Very nice first novel.

HS – OPTIONAL (ratings).  Cindy, Library Teacher

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