Saturday, December 27, 2008

Grief Girl by Erin Vincent

It’s just another October day until Erin Vincent’s parents are hit by a speeding tow truck. Mom dies instantly. Dad dies one month later after doctors assure Erin that he’s going to make it. Erin and her teenaged sister, Tracy, are left to raise their baby brother, Trent—and each other. Their beloved uncles blow what little money they had, family “friends” disappoint, kids at school are jealous, and their grandparents threaten to take Trent away from them. This is Erin’s story.
“This is a gripping memoir of the aftermath of their deaths. Although her loss took place more than 20 years ago in Australia, her use of the present tense and a wholly authentic adolescent voice lend her retelling palpable immediacy. Gritty language, a swift pace, and glimpses of humor amid tragedy make this a page-turner. The author captivatingly portrays her journey through the stages of grief, which she aptly points out take place in no discernible order. Perhaps most poignant is the heartbreaking post-funeral abandonment of her and her siblings by adult friends and relatives. Teens will sympathize with her 18-year-old sister's anger at the crushing responsibility of parenting her younger siblings. At the same time, the author's own feelings of rejection, abandonment, and self-blame will resonate with many readers. Recommend this book to those who have experienced loss, or want to understand what a friend might be going through, as well as to teens looking for an absorbing read” (review by Rebecca M. Jones). A quick, powerful read, Grief Girl should not be missed.

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