Raising your best friends teenaged daughter is going to be rough, especially when she starts getting calls home from school saying that she is bullying another student. Hyacinth Girls by Lauren Frankel is a literary masterpiece. It showcases how tough it is to raise a teenager, especially one who isn’t biologically yours, and how people can be very mean to others in middle school and high school. Plus, this story demonstrates the ability to twist words around, how someone can go from the bully to the bullied, and the tragedy that can occur when words go too far.
Rebecca takes care of her best friend’s daughter, Callie. Joyce, Callie’s mom, was murdered when Callie was five. To add insult to injury, Callie learns that her dad committed suicide shortly after her mom’s death. She has a hard time understanding why her dad would do such a thing, and what it means to have those blood lines running through your veins.
When Rebecca gets a call home from school that Callie has been mean to another girl, she races to Callie’s side. Callie tells her it was all a misunderstanding, and that the girl, Robyn, had a crush on her and was retaliating for Callie’s diss. Soon more calls home start to tumble in, as well as strange letters from an anonymous person start to show up at Joyce’s grave.
It all soon gets to be too much, and Callie tell’s Rebecca what’s really going on, but she may have told her too late.
Mixed with stories from Rebecca’s past, Callie’s view of things, and even IM and Email chats between Callie and Robyn, you get a good sense of what is really going on by the end of this book. It is a sad story, at the end I was racing through pages trying to figure out what the ending was going to be. I had no idea this book was going to be about this subject matter, the title and cover really don’t explain that well. I liked this book, but I also felt that at times it had too many other stories going on, to really keep track of the original story.
The writing was beautiful, the story is compelling, and the characters are not to be forgotten. If it wasn’t for the other story lines going on at the same time, Hyacinth Girls would have gotten a better rating. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars, it is worth a read.
I received this book from Blogging for Books.