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FREAKY GREEN EYES by Joyce Carol Oates Kirkus Star


by Joyce Carol Oates

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-06-623759-9
Publisher: HarperCollins

Freaky Green Eyes, born during a drunken assault at a teen party, becomes one teen’s inner voice of resistance as her family crumbles around her. Franky’s father is Reid Pierson, former star football player and current star sportscaster; all her life, he has been the charismatic sun around which his family revolves. To make him angry is to risk losing his approval and his love, and the punishments he metes out are harsh, but just. As Franky keenly observes, “It’s hard to change how you feel. How you think is a lot easier.” So warped is Franky’s perception, that when her mother, an artist desperate to assert a life outside of the family orbit, moves out, her loyalties remain with her father—until her mother disappears entirely, and Freaky Green Eyes gives her the strength to confront her life honestly. Oates crafts an unflinching look at Franky’s struggle to define herself against a backdrop of family violence, turning what could have been rendered as a sensationalistic “ripped-from-the-headlines” melodrama into a quietly gripping, beautifully written, impeccably paced psychological thriller. (Fiction. YA)