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Girl in Shades
Allison Baggio
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Girl in Shades

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  80 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Sweetly funny and deeply perceptive, this novel follows teenager Maya Devine's search for her mother, her father, and above all, herself, offering a fresh take on what it is to grow up and to be part of a family. Maya's mother Marigold is desperate for enlightenment: she drags Maya to library lectures on making money and gardening as part of her home schooling, attends AA ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by ECW Press
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Caroline Wissing
It's 1985 and eleven-year-old Maya Devine's mother is dying of cancer. That would be bad enough, but her mother also moved into a teepee in the backyard, which has attracted the attention of neighbours and the media. Embarrassed and confused, Maya must not only cope with her mother's illness and her father's failings, she must deal with the school bully, Jackie. Every girl knew a Jackie in grade school, the popular child with all the friends who scorned and ridiculed the other girls who didn't m ...more
I wasn’t sure when I started this novel whether or not I was going to like it because the main character, 11-year old Maya, seemed to be bordering on the “mystical” with apparent psychic tendencies and an ability to see people’s auras. (Not that I don’t believe people have these abilities, but I just get a little worried that they’ll play too big a part in the story and detract from its believability.) My worries were very quickly forgotten.

This is a wonderful, unique coming of age story about a
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alltimefaves
I have to admit I'm a sucker for coming of age stories, but this one is a bit different. It's a bit edgy with lots of tender moments.

I loved it!
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Standing by her dying mother's bedside, Maya hears the words inside her mother's head, "It hardly hurts anymore" and while she is pleased her mother is no longer in pain, for Maya the agony of her death seems overwhelming.

At eleven Maya is a bright, mature and resourceful girl who has learnt to adapt to the dysfunctional rhythms of her family. Maya's father is largely emotionally absent even when he is at home but she adores her mother despite Marigold's sometimes bizarre behaviour and frequent
Christa  Seeley
Originally reviewed at Christa's Hooked on Books Christa's Hooked on Books

I love when I get wowed by Canadian fiction, especially Canadian fiction from an indie press. There is some great stuff out there folks! Don't let it pass you by!

To be quiet honest for the first quarter I had hard time really getting into this story. This is partially because the opening is a bit slow, but it was probably of combination of things, including that I started this book right in the middle of NaNoWriMo. Don't d
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I thought this book was a little strange at first, I ended up enjoying it. A young girl struggles to cope with the impending death of her mother who is dying from a terminal illness. She also discovers a secret about her past that sends her on a journey to find out more about herself and the person she wants to become someday. The book was well-written and the characters believable.
Literary  Chanteuse
Sep 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hens-lit
Although this book is seen through the eyes of an eleven year old it has a mature quality. You go through the death of her Mother and an emotional roller coaster that ends in forgiveness. A coming of age story that captures honest feelings and circumstances. This is an awesome book and an awesome new Canadian author. I won this book here on goodreads.
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: friend, fifty-in-2013
More than just Corey Hart. I read it all day and sobbed like a baby.
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted at All I Ever Read

I’ve been slacking a bit. I originally read Girl in Shades back in October 2011, and should have written my review then. The problem was that I just couldn’t put my thoughts into words. Well I sat down and read it a second time hoping that it would finally help me get the words out. So here goes nothing.

After two reads in a period of 4 months, there are no words I can use to adequately describe my love for Girl in Shades by Allison Baggio. Really, I am serious
Maya Devine is eleven years old when her mother Marigold is diagnosed with cervical cancer and decides to forgo all medical treatment in favor of spending her last months in a teepee in the backyard.

When Maya's mother dies, her father, who had been growing more distant as Marigold's illness progressed, abandons Maya in favor of nights with his secretary. Maya lives more or less alone for a year or two, teased at school, and confused by other people, whose thoughts she can sometimes hear - and wh
Christopher Meades
I loved this book. I really did.
90% of the time, I don’t finish novels. When I pick up a new book, I usually get half way through and then start asking myself – is anything in the second half of this book going to be substantially different than what’s transpired in the first half? And for most books, the answer is no. Once you’ve got half way through, you’ve got the gist of the entire novel and there’s no need to keep reading.
But with Girl in Shades, I found myself caring about Maya (the centr
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finding interesting e-books to read is not an easy task on my library's website, and when I do find one I would like to read, it usually has quite a few holds on it already. So I was pleasantly surprised to find Girl in Shades waiting to be found, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it from start to finish. Allison Ballagio did a wonderful job of seamlessly weaving Maya's tale between past and present. Some authors who attempt this end up making a book hard to keep up with, but Ballagio used it in ...more
Deb Mohr
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful first novel from Allison. I was left wanting to know more about the main character; especially what she did with her adult life. I sincerely hope that Allison is planning a sequel. The writing style is reminiscent of Anita Shreve's writing which, in my opinion, is putting Allison in a well deserved upper echelon of writers.
Lori Kerr
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wonderfully written story about a young girl discovering where she fits.
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great job on this debut novel! It was reminiscent of the journey of the Joy Luck Club, and towards the end, it brought me back to The Outsiders. A good example of a bildungsroman!
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far I'm really enjoying this book. Recommend
This was an excellent read - detailed and thought provoking. I loved the end!!
Mar 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that you can't wait to share with your friends.
Danette Newman
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Dec 11, 2013
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Nov 16, 2015
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Jun 24, 2016
Lynda Stark
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Jul 23, 2017
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Dec 25, 2011
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Nov 28, 2011
Angie Davis
rated it it was ok
Feb 03, 2013
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Jul 14, 2012
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Allison Baggio is the author of Girl In Shades, which was hailed by Chatelaine as "a remarkable first novel" and In the Body, which was named a Canadian Favourite of 2012 by the National Post. Her writing has appeared in publications all across Canada, including Room, subTerrain, LICHEN, Today's Parent, and the Toronto Star. She is a graduate of York University and the Humber School for Writers. S ...more
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