UNRAVELING by Michelle Baldini


Age Range: 14 & up
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How much is a homecoming date worth? Fifteen-year-old Amanda Himmelfarb, a bundle of raging insecurity due to her mother’s (“The Captain”) constant nit-picking, agrees to part with her virginity in exchange for a date to the fall dance with hot, no-good senior Rick Hayes. After reluctantly sealing “the Deal,” Amanda is predictably devastated. But eventually, she finds an unexpected ally in her mother, who has softened after the death of a close friend encourages her to reevaluate her priorities. The writing is uneven in places, and pedestrian entries from Amanda’s diary in poem form only serve to distract from her turbulent family ties. The authors are at their best when portraying the uncomfortable relationship between Amanda and her rigid mother. Each verbal exchange between the two crackles with tension and pain, and readers’ sympathies will move from one to the other as more of The Captain’s own troubled childhood comes to light. This flawed yet heartfelt debut will find a place. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: July 8th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-385-73540-7
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2008