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Not Like You
ISBN: 9780618720934
Author: Davis, Deborah
Publisher: Clarion Books
Published: July 2007
Retail: $16.00    OUR PRICE: $2.99
     You Save 81%
Binding Type: Hardcover
Annotation: Sharply honest and beautifully written, this powerful novel tells the story of a teenage girl who must decide whether taking care of herself means no longer taking care of her alcoholic mother.
Additional Information
Physical Information: 0.92" H x 9.12" L x 6.34" W 268 pages
Bargain Category: High School, Social Issues
Grade level(s): 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Reviewed by PW Annex Reviews (Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews)
In a sensitively wrought story about betrayal and forgiveness, Davis (The Secret of the Seal) examines the rocky relationship between a promiscuous teen and her alcoholic mother. Fifteen-year-old Kayla has had a series of short-term, unfulfilling romances, but these are not the only impermanent aspect of her life. Whenever her mother gets the whim, they move to a new location where her mother gets another dead-end job and soon resumes binge drinking. Kayla doubts that things will be any different in New Mexico, but manages to make some new friends, including Shirley and Sherrie, the slightly eccentric owners of a used clothing store, and Remy, a struggling musician who is more mature and sensitive than other boys Kayla has known. When Remy moves to Denver to pursue his musical career, Kayla plans to follow him; when she is met with a less than enthusiastic reception, she realizes she must take control of her own destiny. Honestly depicting adolescent emotions, the author faithfully renders Kayla's vulnerabilities, longings and uncertainties. Teens feeling trapped by circumstance will relate to Kayla's dilemmas and may even learn from her mistakes. Ages 14-up. (July)
Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2007 September)

Gr 7 Up— Kayla's mother has made the 15 years of her daughter's life unpredictable, from moving for "fresh starts" to drunken binges, no money, loser boyfriends, and a year in foster care. Kayla is tired of being the adult and of letting a guy use her for sex just to feel loved. When Marilyn moves them to New Mexico and seems genuinely to want to stay sober, Kay is skeptical, but she begins to make a life for herself by walking dogs and making friends, especially with a 24-year-old musician. Thoughtful, touching, and honest, this story hits all the right notes. Kayla is a character full of flaws and hopes. Despite having grown up fast, she is still a teenager: moody and angry because of a mother who chooses alcohol over her daughter. Marilyn is fully dimensional, with her own failures, small triumphs, and desperation. Their relationship is truthfully portrayed with its complications of love, hate, and disappointment. Kayla's realization that she is repeating her mother's mistakes is as much an epiphany for readers as it is for her. Davis uses the desert setting as another way for readers to gain insight into the characters. When Kayla begins to understand her mother and love herself, instead of a stark landscape she sees nuanced color and calming beauty. Similar to Sarah Dessen's This Lullaby (2002) and The Truth about Forever (2004, both Viking), this novel is full of loneliness and yearning. It's a book to learn from and remember.—Anne Rouyer, New York Public Library

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