Strange Relations
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Strange Relations

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  158 ratings  ·  37 reviews
A summer in paradise. That's all Marne wants. That's all she can think of when she asks her parents permission to spend the summer in Hawaii with Aunt Carole and her family.

But Marne quickly realizes her visit isn't going to be just about learning to surf and morning runs along the beach, despite the cute surfer boy she keeps bumping into. For one thing, Aunt Carole isn't...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 12th 2007 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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(showing 1-30 of 262)
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Emily
Fifteen-year-old Marne has her summer all figured out. She’ll stay with her aunt Carol who lives in Hawaii with her husband and seven children. Sure, Marne will help out, but she’ll also be able to run on the beach and spend the summer in paradise. Marne’s mom isn’t so sure; Carol now goes by Chaya, her husband is a Rabbi, they have 7 children, and they are observant, conservative Jews. Marne persists, though, and is allowed to go. At first, Marne is overwhelmed at the chaos of her aunt’s home,...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Julie M. Prince for TeensReadToo.com

It seems like such a good idea. Marne knows that her mom's sister, Carole, lives in Hawaii, so she has only to convince her parents that she should go for a long overdue visit to her relatives. She'll run along the beach, maybe even surf and swim in the ocean. Best of all, her friend will also be visiting Hawaii, so there will be no end of fun. When her parents agree to Marne's plan, she knows she's in for the perfect summer in the paradise of the...more
Kirsten
What an odd book. I fiund myself wanting more detail, especially in the beginning. We are constantly told that her aunt's family is odd, but when she meets them, it just focuses on the chaos of a big family, and only later do the details come out (i.e. they dress modestly in old-fashioned clothes - wouldn't she have have noticed that at the airport???). There is a whole laundry list of issues thrown in (mostly left unresolved), just because (I guess). Also, I'm not sure that the only lifestyle c...more
Annica
I really liked this book. I thought her family was really wierd but I understand that religion is religion. I am proud of her for how she acted with her friends. She made the right choice and so did Jeff, in the end. This book made me wish that I liked running.
Rachel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melanie
What more could a 15-year-old girl ask for? Marne gets to spend her summer in Hawaii while her parents are away! Awesome, right? Maybe not...Marne's aunt and uncle are Hasidic Jews who have "crazy rituals and will try to convert you" according to her mother. Marne is on guard when she arrives in Hawaii but quickly falls into the routine of a family with 7 kids. She helps out with the little ones and quickly becomes a favorite at the Jewish day camp. Sabbath proves to be a challenge as Marne find...more
Erin
This was an interesting book about a secular Jewish girl named Marne who spends the summer with her ultra orthodox Hacidic aunt, uncle and cousins. It was interesting to see how Hacidics view themselves, although frankly, the book did lend a cult like atmosphere to how the aunt converted from hippiechick to religious zealot upon entering a college religious group and meeting a man she later marries. I live in a heavily Jewish area, with a high amount of Hacidics and frankly, this book really kep...more
Jess
While I was intrigued by the premise, I was ultimately disappointed in the execution. During the first few chapters, there are hints at a tragic back-story for the family, which comes out later, and this could have been a fascinating component to the story. Instead, it got lost in the clutter of issues. There's the tragedy, there's the very Jewish aunt with the enormous family, there's the cousin who's afraid of the world, the cousin who won't look girls in the face, the very secular friend and...more
Deb
Marne is a non religious Jew who goes to Hawaii for the summer and stays with her aunt's Lubavitcher family. She had wanted a summer in paradise but ends up helping out with her aunt's day camp, doing decidely unparadise kinds of stuff and learning all about how the ultra religious live, with rules and blessings for everything. She meets a boy which complicates things a bit. While I found this a good book and like the things Marne learns, there were a couple of issues I have with it. First of al...more
Elaine
What is it like to live with cousins who have religion deeply rooted in their heart? Marne first could not stand it. She viewed them as aliens from another world. As the story goes on, she learns more about their cousins and their religion and eventually understands the reasons of their behaviors. It is very interesting to see how the main character goes through the process of understanding them.
Cathy
There is not much literature for Jewish teens where Judaism plays much of a role. Usually characters are Jewish, but very assimilated, as is indeed the main character of the book. But when she goes to visit her Aunt Carole, Chaya now, she finds herself immersed in a Hasidic lifestyle, sort of like going on an exchange program in a foreign country. The back story of her sister having been kidnapped was a bit weird, I would have thought everyone would have worried more about her when she went off....more
Stephanie A.
I liked the writing style, but it's hard to decide which culture I ended up disliking more - the super-Orthodox Jews who think bare legs are scandalous & turning on lights constitutes "work" on the holy day, or the modern teen world of their niece, who thinks booze & "safe" pills are totally okay at a summer beach party just because her best friend gave them to her. And this was after she'd spent half the summer actually coming to appreciate her relatives' way of life.
Abbi Kraus
This book taught me so much about the daily lives of Orthodox Jews. When Marne (a secular Jew) goes to visit with her Aunt and Uncle's family in Hawaii she reluctantly becomes a part of their daily rituals and lifestyle. This is a great book for middle school children and anyone who would like to know more about Judaism and the Orthodox Jewish lifestyle.
Janelle
I know I'm probably being unfair, but I just couldn't get into the book. I think I read to chapter seven and just couldn't go any farther. It didn't interest me at all, and not once did it make me want to continue reading. Maybe I'll give it another shot some other time, but as of right now it's going straight back to the library.
Michelle Walker
Very interesting insight into Chasidic Jewish belief, practice, and culture. It is the story of a less orthodox girl moving in with relatives who are very orthodox. She and they come to understand one another and how religion functions in their lives. A good multi-cultural read. not the best writing i've ever encountered.
WCPL Teens
When Marne opts to spend the summer with her aunt, uncle, and seven cousins in Hawaii, she's not sure what she got herself into. Instead of lounging around on the beach, she's running errands, babysitting, helping at camp, and witnessing the strange practices of her relatives, who are Chasidic Jews.
Tessa
Jan 10, 2009 Tessa rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: yyay
I was with this tale of a 15 year old girl living with her Orthodox Jewish relatives for the summer right up until the last couple of chapters, when I felt that the author reached a little too far in the interests of making things more dramatic. Otherwise I would have been neutral.
Mahina
Pros - Great book for Jewish teens. Main character must deal with feelings associated with the abduction (never found) of her younger sister.
Cons - Mild racism and although the book is set in Hawaii there are no realistic Hawaiian or local people depicted.
Liz
Marne goes to Hawaii to stay with her aunt and cousins for the summer. She finds out that their strange traditions may have a place in her life. This is a wonderful book about self discovery.
Lindsey
This is a young adult novel, but it was still very good. The main character, Marne, learns a lot about the Jewish faith when she goes to stay with her aunt in Hawaii for the summer.
Israa

It started out a little boring I just wanted it to end so I can start another on but the ending was worth it I couldn't leave it when I started the last chapters
Eleanor D
I liked this book. It was definetly strange, but it gave a really good perspective. I thought that it was funny and also an overall good read. Espically for summer.
Alina
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Swathi
It was overall good but some parts can get boring. there's a LOT about judaism, because that's what the main character's relatives practice.
Tiff
Aug 12, 2007 Tiff rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teen girls
Shelves: young-adult
A few quick notes:
* great character development in this story
* learned quite a bit about Judaism
* really enjoyed this book
Francesca
I thought this book was very meaningful and I think it opened my eyes to many things. I would recommend this book to all y'all:)
Chris
The only impression that I will be left with from this book was the way too graphic and creepy burial prep scene.
Beck
its not as bad as i thought it would be. i was reluctant to start it but once i did it was pretty good.
Laura
i love this book i am not jew but it makes me feel like i am i wish she would write a 2 !!
Abigail
made it maybe halfway. unpleasant to read. can't imagine who could tolerate reading this through.
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