ARC (Advance Reading Copy). Published April 9, 2013. Random House. 321 pp.
This book was beautiful, touching, raw and emotional, and I feel this title does not do it justice. If it hadn’t already been published, I would have written the author and publisher to tell them they need to not only change the ridiculous cover shot of a girl acting like she’s in a spy novel, but also need to get a title that actually goes with the storyline. Perhaps something along the likes of “Beauty: More than what you see.” or “A Friendship for Eternity” or even “Karma: Do you really want to know?”
Fourteen-year-old Faye lives with her abusive mother in a rundown section of Brooklyn in 1984. She hasn’t quite developed the womanly body or smooth, sophisticated look of some of the girls in her school, and feels plain, flat chested and ugly. Unable to fit in, she falls in with the wrong crowd and becomes a petty thief. Things get out of hand when she and her friends decide to force their way into an apartment to rob Evelyn, an old woman. Caught up in the moment, Faye causes the woman to fall and get hurt.
A few days later racked with guilt and fearing that she might have killed the old woman, Faye returns to the scene of the crime. What she finds and learns in the next few months is more than she expected. Eventually, the crusty old woman and the crushed-by-life young girl form a friendship which teaches Faye responsibility, love, generosity of spirit, patience, kindness and so much more.
I was unable to put the book down, and was quite emotional towards the end. Readers aged 12-16 will learn much from Faye and Evelyn’s experiences and, hopefully, gain a new appreciation for seniors.