Ari's Reviews > The Trouble With Half a Moon

The Trouble With Half a Moon by Danette Vigilante
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's review
Jan 14, 2011

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bookshelves: read-in-2011

On paper this book sounds heartbreaking, the actual delivery was not so heartbreaking. Yes Corey is adorable and his story is upsetting, but there were so many little things that bugged me about this story I couldn't really get into it emotionally. My main problem was with Miss Shirley. Let's put it this way: Miss Shirley is magical and she makes everything all better. I wasn't expecting the magical elements and I didn't like them either. I understand putting in a wise elder figure, but making her have special powers was just too much. It took away from Dellie learning about herself on her own which is part of the appeal of novels about young people (gah that expression makes me sound ridiculously old, haha). I didn't like the fact that Dellie's guilt for her brother Louis is never discussed with her parents, I would have thought that was a crucial part of her healing process.

To top it all off, Dellie's best friend Kayla is quick to throw away their friendship. I don't want to put spoilers in this review but it was very surprising and not in a good way. Kayla seemed like a good friend and that's all I'll say about it.

Like I said, above Corey is darling. Whose heart would not be torn when reading about a five-year old being abused? I also liked that Dellie was a well developed main character. She hates math (I can deeply relate to that) and she's in like with a guy named Michael. Michael isn't some tough guy with something to prove, he's gentle and good at math and it's a nice example of young (8th grade) love. I know I just got through saying that Kayla isn't the best of best friends but she has her own crush to deal with and that is portrayed nicely. I liked that there were two examples of relationships, both of them were subtle but it's clear which relationship is healthy and which is not. Through each member of Dellie's family, readers are introduced to the different ways we grieve. Dellie and her father internalize, Dellie's father throws himself into taking care of her mother. Dellie's mother cries and becomes overprotective. Dellie blames herself. These are all different ways we grieve and it's good to see how each character copes and comes to realize that the way they are handling the situation may not be the best way.

The Trouble With Half a Moon has a high emotional impact potential but the unsatisfactory (to me) way it was executed, kept me from really getting into the story. The 'mysterious sage' Miss Shirley, the lack of emotional closure that I felt Dellie received, and the sudden ending and other abrupt changes in character behavior kept the story from really reaching its potential. The friendship between Dellie and Kayla started off strong, but it had such a random low point that I had a hard time fathoming the change. I did like the crush details and the way grief was handled. The best part is in reading about Corey and Dellie's blossoming friendship. I also liked that Dellie wasn't this hardened character. Yes she kept everything to herself about how she felt, but she wasn't completely closed off just yet. Corey needs her but Dellie needs Corey as well.

I wouldn't highly recommend this book, but it's not a bad book.

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Ashley Agreed! Great review! This book had so much potential, but just... didn't quite make it. I thought I would like Miss Shirley (quirky old lady neighbor!) but then, she became the magical quicker fixer upper. Not cool.

message 2: by Keyona (new)

Keyona Aww man...I had high hopes for this one!

Katrina Burchett There is a verse in the Bible that says something about entertaining angels unaware, and that's what comes to mind when I think about Miss Shirley; I never once thought magical. Just because certain characters wondered if she was a witch, that didn't mean she was one. Now, the healing that happened in the story may have been a bit much, but that doesn't mean it's not possible. I enjoyed Vigilante's debut novel. I gave it 4 stars, and I'll write a review when I get my thoughts together: )

message 4: by Ari (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ari @Ashley-yes, yes and yes. that's all I have to say, your review is excellent.

@Keyona-It's getting some fab reviews on Goodreads though, you should still check it out.

@Katrina-Ah you see I don't expect angels in my contemporary fiction that's not religious. Nothing wrong with them but I would never jump to that conclusion. I guess that could work but to me that ruins some of the possible real-life magic of the book. I don't think she was witch though.

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