Saturday, October 15, 2016
True Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolff Book Thoughts (Make Lemonade #2)
"LaVaughn is fifteen now, and she's still fiercely determined to go to college. But that's the only thing she's sure about. Loyalty to her father bubbles up as her mother grows closer to a new man. The two girls she used to do everything with have chosen a path LaVaughn wants no part of. And then there's Jody. LaVaughn can't believe how gorgeous he is...or how confusing. He acts like he's in love with her, but is he?"
Where to begin?! At first I was disappointed to not see Jolly as it's told from LaVaughn's POV again but Jolly is seen and I do see why it's told from LaVaughn's POV, so the disappointment was short-lived. Again, it's a poweful book! Talking about crime and living in a crime-filled neighborhood, which brought me back to my childhood...I heard gunshots all the time growing up and long before I was even 10 I stopped flinching at the sound...I was used to it. No child should be used to gun-shots but I digress, I know I could have had it a lot worse. It also talks about education, in a poor area and in hard-hitting ways. LaVaughn is a determined, sensitive, smart and sometimes naive 15 year old girl determined to go to college and get out of her crime-ridden area.
She deals with heartache, friendship problems, questions about life and religion. There were times I was downright angry at the book and wanted to throw it across the room, but I kept reading and i'm so glad I did! It even had me confront some of my own prejudices against Christianity, when in reality there are wonderful Christians out there, as this book does show, and it's just the extreme fanatics that are a problem, if you can even call them Christian in the first place with all of their hate. I want to put that out there because it may at some point in the book make you want to tear it to shreds, at least it did me and may for others too, possibly for a different reason though, but just reading on and reading it closely it does all come together.
It addresses powerful subjects including strict, judgmental religion that harms rather than heals, first love, homosexuality, abandonment of friends and the incredible positive influence that a mother and teachers can make! (Yes I took that sentence from another review on goodreads as I couldn't have said it better myself)
There were times I was very frustrated with LaVaughn but I could also remember when I was 15, and could relate to her in some ways including some of the very things I was frustrated over. I rolled my eyes and was frustrated at other characters at times too.
I loved the characters though and how real they were. The writing, the messages, the story, the pacing, how it's easy to read and fly through and still so powerful. How it made me think. I do highly recommend this trilogy so far, I just have one more book to go in it!