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Life Is Fine

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  63 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Life is not fine for Samara Tuttle, but she’s coping. Her overworked mother is distant and cold, and her mother’s boyfriend, Q, attacks Samara when she tries to clean up after his lazy, Funyun-loving self. Samara’s a loner. But all of this changes when Mr. Halbrook arrives at school. Samara’s English teacher takes ill, and in steps Mr. Jerome Halbrook, a suitwearing, blue- ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published March 11th 2008 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2008)
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Erica Smith
Jun 15, 2013 Erica Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was another quick(and I do mean quick) story by Allison Whittenberg. In this book, Samara is a drifter in school who smokes and has a crappy family life with her mother and her mother's boyfriend Q. She even has an orangutan she visits often at the zoo. Life seems pretty dull.

Until Mr. Jerome Holbrook, Samara's substitute teacher for English. He burst in the classroom quoting Emily Dickinson and Andrew Marvell. Samara finds the seventy something year old with blue eyes and brown face- strik
 Imani ♥ ☮
I previously gave a rather unsatisfactory review of this book and now I am here to make amends.

It's been awhile. Actually, about three years, now. However, I still remember a bit about this.

There lives a troubled girl named...(sorry I don't remember names). Her step father is abusive and her mother is oblivious to this and doesn't understand her. This girl doesn't have any friends to speak of and she pretty much hates life. And then she gets this teacher (I don't remember his name either). But
Lacey Louwagie
Apr 07, 2008 Lacey Louwagie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was about a lot of things for being so short (under 200 pages), but it was mostly about how one substitute teacher opens up Samara's life enough for her to let others get close to her as well (at the beginning of the book her one "friend" is an ape at the zoo, by the end she has a few more). While this book touches on some pretty heavy subjects -- child abuse and cancer, for example -- it doesn't examine any of them with a lot of depth. This might sound like a slam, but it's actually n ...more
Dec 30, 2008 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teenfiction
Fifteen year old Samara is coping with her life. Her mother goes from one boyfriend to the next and currently has her useless boy toy, Q, living with them. The house is a dump, Mom is never home and Samara spends most of her free time watching the chimps at the zoo. But that was before she had the most amazing substitue teacher - Mr. Halbrook. Sure, he's old (60+ - practically a senior citizen to Samara), but he's deep and he pays attention to Samara and soon she finds she can't stop thinking ab ...more
Jenni Frencham
It continually amazes me how many books for teens are written about troubled teens who confide in their English teachers. Almost this convinces me to take up a teaching position again. Almost

Samara is dealing with a lot at home, so it isn't surprising that school isn't a priority for her. The substitute for her English class opens up the world of poetry to her, though, and allows Samara to open up about abuse that she has kept hidden for years. Samara struggles with the unfairness of the world a
Gail Gauthier
Jun 07, 2014 Gail Gauthier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first 2014 48 Hour Book Challenge book. Loved the crush on the elderly substitute teacher.
Feb 01, 2016 Teresa rated it it was amazing
powerful look at a single mother/daughter relationship and their choices to survive packed into in a little book
Feb 13, 2015 Nyankiir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a great book and i love it.
It was an ok book, thought it could use a better ending though
Megan Anderson
The writing is pretty, but the book itself just seems to meander without reaching any sorts of conclusions. The protagonist goes through a "life-changing" transformation--or does she? She doesn't appear to choose any other sort of path from the one she was already on. The plot is mediocre at best. A disappointing read.
Aug 28, 2008 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Whittenberg displays great use of language in this coming of age novel. The ending seemed unnecessarily abrupt, which made it not have the emotional resonance that the author seemed to be aiming for, but a lot of the book was on the abrupt side. Nevertheless, the author communicates a lot of story through description.
Oct 02, 2015 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked the book because it was so interesting to know her life and how she was. It's crazy how the way you live really affects who you are.
Mar 31, 2008 Karin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: realistic, teen
teen samara has it pretty rough growing up in philadelphia, then her life is changed when substitute teacher takes an interest in her and introduces her to poetry. story pretty ordinary, but the writing was definitely above average.
Jul 20, 2009 Mekdlawit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i really liked this book....i was kind of hoping that samar will tell her mom that her new boyfrind is cheating on her. I think i have lerned a lot from this book.
Sep 24, 2008 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A YA book. Short and poignant. The protagonist is a 15-year-old living in Philly.
Becky Shaknovich
Surprisingly excellent
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Dec 26, 2015
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Allison Whittenberg is the author of three young adult novels Sweet Thang, Life Is Fine and Hollywood and Maine. She lives in Philadelphia."
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