EVER AFTER by Rachel Vail


Age Range: 11 - 14
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 Molly writes about the summer she's 14 in a handsomely bound journal, a gift from her difficult best friend Vicky. Quick to take offense, at odds with her divorced mother, jealous of their new friend Grace (a visitor to their Massachusetts island), Vicky even twists news of Molly's first period into a slight--and then exacts a promise that she won't tell her own nice mom. Still, Molly is loyal; the two have always been close, and though she chafes at Vicky's goading she's too uncertain of herself to rebel. Fond of a boy who broke up with her after a single kiss, she's also attracted to Vicky's brother, who used to babysit them; she has just discovered Toni Morrison's novels and seems to be drifting away from her parents, who are mystified at having such a bookish daughter (Dad's a landscaper); she covers her developing body with voluminous clothes and stops eating. In the end, discovering that Vicky betrayed her by secretly reading her journal sets Molly free: Jolted into a more mature sense of herself, she choses high school courses that are best for her, not Vicky, and gets her eating habits in order. If she ever accepts Vicky again, it will be on her own terms. There's more than ample detail here to delineate this uneasy friendship, yet each incident is telling and almost painfully realistic. Vail (Do-Over, 1992) not only likes and respects her young characters; she knows them inside out. An unusually immediate portrayal of a thoughtful teen finding her balance among her peers while making peace with her own capabilities. (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-531-06838-2
Page count: 166pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1994


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