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VITAMINS AND DEATH by Medeia Sharif
Release date: December 10, 2014
I'd like to thank the author for supplying me with an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Favorite Line/Passage: Mom's mouth was in an O. Nelly didn't walk. She leapt. In the air she went, flyaing toward Mom, punching her left and right. I stepped out of the way and screamed. Nelly's limbs were like the propellers of a helicopter, and I didn't want to be sliced. My eyes searched for a way in, to slip between Nelly and Mom, but I couldn't find a way. My instincts tingled to protect her, even though she didn't always protect me. She was my mom, and I didn't want her to tak a beating like this. (point 38%)
Description: Deidra Battle wants nothing more than to be invisible. After her mother, a public school teacher, engages in an embarrassing teacher-student affair at Lincoln High, they relocate to a different neighborhood and school. Being her mother's briefcase, Deidra joins her mother at her new workplace, Hodge High. Since her mother has reverted to her maiden name and changed her appearance, she thinks no one will figure out they're the Battles from recent news and that they're safe. Neither of them is. Hodge brings a fresh set of bullies who discover details about the scandal that changed Deidra's life. Feeling trapped at home with an emotionally abusive, pill-addicted mother and at school with hostile classmates who attempt to assault and blackmail her, Deidra yearns for freedom, even if she has to act out of character and hurt others in the process. Freedom comes at a price.
NIGHTSTAND WORTHY +1
My Splats: a delicate situation, true to life and relatable in similar ways even if circumstances differ.
The opening of this story is shrouded in Deidra's need to remain invisible. If no one sees her, no one will ask questions. Existing is all the living she wants to do until she graduates in a few months. That's freedom. That's her escape. But as most would probably guess, life never makes it that easy. The harder Deidra tries to hide, the more visible she becomes.
Soon the story's covering adds the tension of dread and impending reality, as Deidra realizes her mom's secret will not remain hidden forever. Inescapably, her mother's irrational past behavior has tainted her and that stain is deepening, blurring her own identity. Being forced into a new school - one most definitely with lower standards than her previous safe high school - is much harder than she thought it would be.
The longing for her old life of popularity, security, belief in people, and Dad living home gradually intensifies. She begins to drown in her mother's egregious error in judgment. Because of events out of Dee's control, choices someone else made (happens to be Mom), her life has quickly shifted from a bright future to one so uncertain she can't see farther than one foot in front of the other. To show this, the author chooses to alternate from Dee's current world and the one she left behind. As first I wasn't sure if this method would work, but it was done so seamlessly that it did work. I liked hearing today's Dee talk and react to those memories in her here-and-now.
This dynamic between parent and child is one so often overlooked. Deidra is the more sensible of the two characters. She's the mature one, looking to do what's right and keeping Mom in check. The author's method of using Mom's fanatical obsession with staying healthy aka vitamins was very effective, basically showing Mom's weakness and selfishness.
This tale shows the possible true-to-life events of a teen, as though she's on the outside looking in - a reality that many of today's youth can surely relate to. Only just like Deidra, many of today's teens are not on the outside, but smack dab in the middle of the chaos.
I'd recommend this story to older teens and adult readers, who enjoy YA contemporary tales with true to life emotions.
Find Medeia – YA and MG Author