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Archive for the ‘Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters’ Category

GirlsLikeUsBiddy and Quincy are Special Ed girls who just graduated high school. They were each given a job and a place to live…together. Biddy is obese and can’t read. She also has a ‘reputation with the boys’. Quincy has brain and facial damage from being hit in the head with a brick when she was little, by her mother’s boyfriend. Not the best of pairings, according to each of them.

They will live in a separate cottage on the grounds of sixty-plus year old Miss Lizzy. Biddy will help with cooking and cleaning while Quincy has a job at the local bakery.

Girls Like Us by Gail Giles is a heart-warming story of intergenerational bonding. No one is perfect in this story, including Miss Lizzy. But they all adapt to less-than-perfect circumstances. Told in alternating chapters by Biddy and Quincy, they each have distinct voices. They each learn a little bit about the other and learn, to some extent, to stand in the others’ shoes. You will come to love these girls. They have big hearts and a lot of gumption.DeadGirls

My only other Gail Giles book is Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters. What a great psychological thriller.

So, here are two books to put on your summer reading list.

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DarkSongAmes Ford lives the privileged life. Huge house with a movie theater, new clothes, all the electronic devices she could want and family vacations. The perfect family…until it all fell apart. Her father, Randal, got caught using his clients’ investment accounts to play the market and lost everything; his job, his retirement funds, his house. The family disintegrates, with a large portion of the animosity shown toward Ames–the spoiled rich kid who can’t conceive of being poor.

Ames and her family are forced to move from Boulder to Texas, into a rental slum owned by her paternal grandparents; grandparents she never new she had. In lieu of three months rent, the family has to fix up the dilapidated, filthy abode. However, help arrives in the form of Marc, a 22 year old who’s a friend of an online friend, etc.

Marc understands the alienation that Ames feels. Her mother yells at everyone, but her the most. Her father chugs beer and Jack Daniels rather than helping and has, on two occasions, almost hit her. But Marc was there to save the day. He’s her hero. But is he too good to be true? What are his secrets?

The first Gail Giles book I read was Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters DeadGirlsand I loved it. I think I read it twice. Shattering Glass I couldn’t get into and, while I remember reading Playing in Traffic, I don’t remember much about it.

GirlsLikeUsSo, while it was nice to enjoy a Gail Giles book again (and I’m looking forward to Girls Like Us coming out later this month), there were things that didn’t ring true. The speed with which the Fords move from Boulder to Texas (it felt like minutes after learning of Randal’s predicament), the immediate and dramatic change in her mother’s relationship with Ames. and the neat ending (hopefully this is not a spoiler). On the other hand, Marc did ring true for me…I won’t tell you more since I don’t want to spoil anything more than I might have already.

I like Gail Giles writing and her ability to tell a story and I’d still recommend this book, but it’s not up to the standards of Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters, which is a MUST read.

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