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3.27  ·  Rating details ·  304 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
THE SMART THING Is to Prepare for the Unexpected.
So reads the fortune cookie fortune that Amanda receives at the beginning of her family’s vacation to Florida. Amanda knows all about preparing for the unexpected—her mother, whom she calls The Captain, is always hard on Amanda, and it’s just when Amanda lets her guard down that the very worst comes through. Looking for acce
ebook, 240 pages
Published July 8th 2008 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2008)
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Nov 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Baldini, Michelle and Lynn Biederman. 2008. Unraveling. [Poems by Gabrielle Biederman:]

The first Chinese fortune I collected the summer I hooked up with Paul--the guy some might consider my first--read: The smart thing is to prepare for the unexpected. I should have taken it more seriously. Fortunes can be like little instructions for life; they may not fit yours at that particular moment, after that particular meal of kung pao chicken, but eventually they will. Trust me on this.

I loved Amanda H
Jul 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow!! I'm half-way through this book and am finding it totally realistic. Teens who find themselves contemplating giving it up for the first time need to read this. For a first time author, I think Baldini and Biederman have created a story that captures the reality of teenage choices and struggles. I hope the end follows through...
Now that I've finished, it did not disappoint!
Jul 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love.It. I really connected with Manda and her problems - TMI, but I was there (20 years earlier, at least). One of the best books about being a teen and living through all that nonsense I've read in a very, very long time.
May 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls and their mothers/ mothers and their daughters
Recommended to Martha by: recieved an advance copy
A terrific and heartbreaking read. Reminds you what was so great about being a teenager--- and what was so awful!
Dec 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
I have not seen such raw and heartbreaking emotion in a book for a really long time now. While the storyline might be ordinary mother-daughter problems, the voice is extraordinary and powerful. It’s rare to find debut novels so pleasantly written, so trust me when I tell you you NEED to read this book.

1. I didn’t get it at first, but the title and the cover art stay true to the novel. Well, the Homecoming dress, anyway. The girl? Not so much. Not to be superficial or anything, but the girl on t
Jul 18, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fifteen-year-old Amanda can’t seem to live up to her mother’s– a.k.a. The Captain– standards. It doesn’t matter what she does or what she doesn’t do, it always lands her in hot water. She fights with her mother so often she has to give them names to keep them all straight. She’ll never measure up to her perfect little sister Malady and she resents The Captain for it.

Since Amanda doesn’t get the support she needs at home she often feels unwanted by her own mother. In retaliation Amanda turns to s
I liked the main character in this teen novel. Amanda is not the typical popular beauty. She also has been having a lot of trouble with her mom lately, and basically she feels like she doesn't know who she is or how to please her demanding mom, who she calls "The Captain". Her character is very endearing because she is going through what most teenagers go through, awkwardness, the desire to fit in, to be wanted, to feel comfortable in your own skin. I thought the story and the plot flowed well. ...more
Oct 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just attended OELMA where she presented...and just finished reading it. It was really very good. Michelle Baldini talked about writing with someone else which I don't think I could do- but she and the other author pulled it off. Amanda Himmelfarb is a great character. I identified with her in many ways - a teen trying to fit in not only with her peers but in her family as well. I was heartbroken right along with Amanda as she makes right and wrong choices and as she weathers the stuff that is ul ...more
Dec 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-kid-lit
I liked this story because of the perspective. I felt like I was in the head of Amanda--in the same way that Beverly Cleary could articulate Ramona's thought processes as a 4-8 yr old (the best Ramona years, IMHO). It was a bit harsh in places, watching the mom, and it wraps up pretty quickly, but the pressures & issues facing Amanda were very contemporary, and her pain felt very real.
Jul 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super angsty. Amanda's family is fighting hardcore, but the worst battles happen between Amanda and her mother. I feel so bad for poor Amanda and her hurt feelings. Amanda also must deal with being used by 2 different asshole jerk "boyfriends." On the plus side, she writes some pretty great poems.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Unraveling 1 11 Jul 22, 2008 06:15PM  
  • Between Families
  • Rainbow Party
  • Skin Deep
  • Giving Up the V
  • My Mother Is a French Fry and Further Proof of My Fuzzed-Up Life
  • Courage in Patience
  • Painting Caitlyn (Caitlyn, #1)
  • Chasing Boys
  • Eva Underground
  • Saving Maddie
  • Girl, Hero
  • Freefall
  • Stalker Girl
  • Good Girls
  • Stranded
  • Cold Hands, Warm Heart
  • Fan Mail
  • Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell
Michelle Baldini is Project Coordinator for the School of Library and Information Science at Kent State University where her main goal is to facilitate successful collaboration between the school library media specialist and classroom teacher. She graduated with her masters in library science, specializing in children’s literature, from Long Island University.
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