Danielle's Reviews > Girl Unmoored

Girl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer
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May 23, 12

bookshelves: 21-in-12
Read in May, 2012

Fantastic! It's the perfect summer read.

Told in such a simplistic way, you'd almost miss how complicated and, at times, gut wrenching the experiences the heroine, Apron, faces are for her. But that's the beauty of Girl Unmoored. It's told from the perspective of Apron, a 13 year old girl who has recently lost her mother to cancer, a father trying to cope with loss and new circumstances, sees the confusion of AIDS in the 80s and the devastation of HIV, has a friend who turns against her, has an awkward relationship to religion, there's even an evil stepmother... Yet, the book never feels complex. It feels like life. It is told in such a tender, earnest way that it is a joy to read.

One of my favorite parts of the book are the chapter titles- Latin phrases with a 13 year old's take on the translations underneath. Apron's father is a Latin professor who has taught her Latin through the years. Through that subtle writing choice, you see the puzzle of adolescence in the puzzle of deciphering an archaic language- and the desire for Apron to be with her father, even when he has little time for her. And through the subtitle simplifying the complicated chapter title, you see that Apron is telling a story that she can handle, bringing room for levity and hope with every new beginning. It is a lovely writing choice that brings you closer to Apron and her father.
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