WHEN YOU NEVER SAID GOODBYE by Meg Kearney

WHEN YOU NEVER SAID GOODBYE

An Adoptee's Search for Her Birth Mother: A Novel in Poems and Journal Entries
Age Range: 12 - 18
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A college-age adoptee searches for her birth mother.

In the final novel-in-verse installment of her identity-probing trilogy (The Girl in the Mirror, 2012, etc.), Kearney’s scrappy protagonist, Liz McLane, heads to the Big Apple in search of answers. Ostensibly there to study poetry at NYU, Liz is also in search of her birth mother, who gave her up for adoption there when she was an infant. Liz is more conscious than many a white girl of being “white as paper. Church-white / with monk-brown curls.” One of the strengths of Kearney’s first-person tale is the normalized diversity of friends and loved ones Liz draws around her on her quest, dating a boy with “half- / Mexican skin” and hanging with friends of differing racial and ethnic backgrounds, who may be gay, or—like Liz—also dealing with the loss of a parent. Another highlight is how Liz’s study of writing affords Kearney the opportunity to experiment with poetic form and include useful tips for budding poets like Liz, such as “When the subject / feels dangerous, form is your friend.” Legal and historical hurdles Liz encounters throughout her search only spur her to dig even deeper into her past, propelling the narrative to a surprising conclusion.

Thoughtful and brimming with justified teen angst, Kearney’s fast-paced tale offers illuminating insights into the perils and rewards of self-discovery. (Verse fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 21st, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-89255-479-9
Page count: 280pp
Publisher: Persea Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2016




MORE BY MEG KEARNEY

ChildrenTROUPER by Meg Kearney
by Meg Kearney
ChildrenTHE GIRL IN THE MIRROR by Meg Kearney
by Meg Kearney
ChildrenTHE SECRET OF ME by Meg Kearney
by Meg Kearney

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenADDIE ON THE INSIDE by James Howe
by James Howe
ChildrenA REALLY AWESOME MESS by Trish Cook
by Trish Cook
ChildrenTHE GIRL IN THE MIRROR by Meg Kearney
by Meg Kearney
ChildrenTHE SECRET OF ME by Meg Kearney
by Meg Kearney