Monday, June 27, 2016

Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff Book Review

The Blurb

"An award-winning novel about growing up and making choices

Virginia Euwer Wolff's groundbreaking novel, written in free verse, tells the story of fourteen-year-old LaVaughn, who is determined to go to college--she just needs the money to get there.

When she answers a babysitting ad, LaVaughn meets Jolly, a seventeen-year-old single mother with two kids by different fathers. As she helps Jolly make lemonade out of the lemons her life has given her, LaVaughn learns some lessons outside the classroom."

My thoughts

This is a powerful book! Being a contemporary written in verse I didn't think i'd like it too much but the subject matter, hard real-life problems, intrigued me and I wanted to read it for that. I was blown away! I quickly realized the verse style, which I thought would throw me off, made the story more powerful. Even though it easily reads as a novel, the subtle emphasis on certain words or phrases thanks to the verse style packed a punch to me!

This book talks about social issues, hard-hitting real life problems, poverty, being a teen mother and dealt a difficult hand. It has 2 strong female protagonists. It's told from LaVaughn's POV and you get a strong sense of both her and Jolly as it shows them learning about life and getting new perspectives. LaVaughn learns there is more to Jolly than she first realized and Jolly, well I don't want to spoil the story but I will say she really grows into herself and her life wonderfully.

It is beautifully written. It's symbolism, poetry, imagery, social issues, real-life problems, and 2 strong teen girls growing up gripped me from start to end, and there were tears. I can't wait to read the next book!


1. How was the pacing?

Fast paced, nothing that didn't add to the story and mean something! I was never confused or bored and it's easy to fly through.

2. How were the characters?

Realistically flawed and 3-dimensional. Wonderful character development throughout the story!

3. Feelings?

There were tears. I actually started crying a few pages in and some more during the book as well. It gripped my heart and had me choking up. I wanted to hug the characters!

4. How was the writing and language?

Beautiful and easy to follow. Accessible yet powerful, even more so because of it!

5. World-building?

Not a lot of world-building is needed for this story, what is needed is there and I feel like more would have taken away from the story and the point of it.

6. Since this is a trilogy, though it seems this can be read as a standalone, will I be picking up the next 2 books?


5 out of 5 wonderful stars, because I can't give it more!

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