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M+O 4EVR by Tonya Cherie Hegamin


by Tonya Cherie Hegamin

Pub Date: June 2nd, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-618-49570-2
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

A touching if uneven debut about friendship, family and race. Marianne and Opal’s friendship began before birth and until high school—when M decided she wanted to be popular and O realized she wanted M—never faltered. Almost the only girls of color in their town (O is black, M is biracial), they were raised on the tale of runaway slave Hannah who flew across the ravine where M overdoses. Now M is dead and O must find her own strength and purpose without the one thing she lived for. Vivid secondary characters and the local color of a small town permeate this slim read; most fascinating is O’s grandmother’s complex long-term relationship with a white businessman. O’s loving but physically absent parents contrast strikingly with M’s mother, present but unloving. The story of Hannah (in strangely formal prose despite the otherwise authentic dialogue in O’s narration) weaves through the novel and provides an interesting if not always successful counterpoint to the ongoing examination of love and freedom. Flawed but lovely. (Fiction. 14 & up)