Barbara's Reviews > And Then Things Fall Apart

And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky
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Jan 08, 12

bookshelves: literacy, word-lovers, writing, ncbla
Read in January, 2012

Fifteen-year-old Keek has had better summers. First, she endured mumps, and now she has chicken pox, and is staying with her paternal grandmother. Not to mention that her parents are separating and probably divorcing since her father cheated on her mother. Her mother is in California helping her own sister whose baby was born prematurely. Because she and her boyfriend had a fight, she is without a cell phone, and hasn't heard from him in several days. The novel spans some of the protagonist's darkest days, from July 12 to August 13 and then jumps to September and the start of school. While I liked Keek a lot, especially her frankness about her vacillation about losing her virginity and her honesty about her relationship with her parents and friend(s), one of the best aspects of the book was Keek's interest in Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar, which she keeps reading and rereading while finding connections to her own life. I also enjoyed the chapter titles, which are a literary delight: Dickensian, Dorian Grayian, Dismayed, and Epicurious. The chapter titles clearly express Keek's ever-vacillating moods as she uses her grandmother's obsolete IBM to record her thoughts. This is a quick read, but it's also nutritious since Keek herself is so interesting.
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