Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles. She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books. She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben
Author: Susan Hughes
If you like dramatic stories with an insanity “bent,” than you will definitely feel differently
Author: Susan Hughes
Ivy is a young adult who is struggling. She’s about to begin her venture into high school, and finds herself worried about all the new “clans” and “cliques” she’ll have to find a way to be a part of so that her life is a little easier. Ivy’s home life certainly doesn’t help her along the way. Her mother is a raging alcoholic who pays no attention to Ivy at all; her father is a man who is kind and loves his daughter, but has no backbone when it comes to his wife’s failure at being a proper mom to their children; and, there is Katie, Ivy’s older sister who knew that it was time to fly the “coop” because of all the battles she was having with her mother – and who is now embarking on a marriage with a nice young man. Unfortunately, Katie left Ivy in the household to fend for herself.
One day, Ivy gets a call from Virginia Donato. Virginia was – once upon a time – a friend to Ivy. However, Virginia had to face her own problems a couple of years back. She lost her father and her mother seems to be losing her mind since her husband’s death. The call takes Ivy by surprise. She and Virginia haven’t spoken in a while, but she heads down the sidewalk – eight houses down – to see why Virginia sounded so strange and distant on the phone.
Now, Virginia Donato has a strange home life, as well. Hers, however, is not strange in the common sense of the word. In her household, she has a mom whose eyes are vacant, and talks about big problems and changes coming. Her brother, Joe, seems to be the only semi-normal person in the household. He plays sports, is a senior in high school, and basically just rolls his eyes when his family utters weird, incoherent things. Virginia also has three sisters, who very much resemble the three witches in Macbeth. It’s as if they are always standing over their cauldron trying to call forth ghosts and prophecies. The oddest human in Virginia’s family, however, is her older brother, Paul. Paul is a very “fire” and “brimstone” type of person and seems to hold the reins of his family rather tight. His eyes are filled with insanity, and Ivy becomes even more freaked out when Virginia breaks down and tells her a secret that sounds absolutely…undeniably…crazy!
The author of this book writes well, and keeps the story moving. Unfortunately, for me, the story is so “out there” that it reminds me of watching the news when David Koresh and his “family” decided to hit the headlines. I love stories about God – old and new – as well as stories of angels, miracles, etc. This, however, is a story that did not appeal to me in the slightest. In fact, to use the YA terminology, most scenes just "grossed me out." This award-winning author is published in almost all genres of children’s literature, but her first foray into young adult fiction is just not for me. However, if you like dramatic stories with an insanity “bent,” than you will definitely feel differently.