Brittany's Reviews > The Big Shuffle

The Big Shuffle by Laura Pedersen
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's review
Feb 26, 12

liked it
bookshelves: life-fiction, collections
Read in January, 2011

The Big Shuffle was a good book, but I didn't realize when I checked it out of the library that it was the third book in a series. If I had realized that, I would have read the first 2 first. But, the story was still good so by the time I realized it was later in a series I didn't want to stop with the story.

The main character is Hallie, the second oldest child in a family with 10 kids(yes, you read that right, I said 10 kids). The central point of the story is that Hallie's father dies, and everything is kind of revolving around that. Hallie has to leave college to come take care of the kids, especially since her mother is in shock and gets sent to the local mental institution. Her big brother Eric has a football scholarship for college, so he literally can't miss any games or he'll get kicked out. He's also set to graduate next year in something that will make good money (accounting, I think) so basically all of the family responsibility falls to Hallie. The sister under her decides to run away, so she's really up shit creek without a paddle. Thankfully her community is pretty supportive and she has random help from different sources (a pastor, the church ladies, a gay couple she works for/lived with, etc).

In a series things are a little less linear than in a book, IMO. There are always references to things in the past and tiny bits of information that doesn't really mean as much to you without reading what has happened previously. So while I really enjoyed this book, I can't help but feel like I didn't "get" it as much as I would've after reading the first 2 in the series. I would like to one day read those and then re-read this so everything "clicks," KWIM?

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