January 7, 2011

The Trouble with Half A Moon - Danette Vigilante

Young Adult
The Trouble with Half a MoonPages: 181
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: January 6, 2011

Ever since her brother's death, Dellie's life has been quiet and sad. Her mother cries all the time and Dellie lives with the horrible guilt that the accident that killed her brother may have been all her fault.
But Dellie's world begins to change when new neighbors move into her housing project building. Suddenly men are fighting on the stoop and gunfire is sounding off in the night. In the middle of all that trouble is Corey, an abused five-year-old boy, who's often left home alone and hungry. Dellie strikes up a dangerous friendship with this little boy who reminds her so much of her brother. She wonders if she can do for Corey what she couldn't do for her brother—save him.

This was a very sweet and innocent portrayal of a a teenage girl dealing with grief. Although it is YA, it felt to me a little more of an MG title. (*Just heard from author that it is an MG title!) The book is short and the story isn't very deep. Dellie, the Hispanic protagonist is 13 and childish for my taste. I could be wrong about this but it felt to me that she was just discovering truths that are normally discovered at a younger age. She also has a fight with her best friend and does nothing about it, just waiting and wallowing in self-pity. Which is not how a girl would act, I don't think. A few scenes felt a little forced and the overall Dellie was boring and predictable.

The story that did captivate me a bit, was Corey's story. Corey is a sweet little boy that lives next door and haves a neglecting and abusive mother. Corey's character kept me hooked, wanting to know what happened to him. It was frustrating because I wanted Dellie to do more, but I knew she couldn't. It was one of the parts that I was interested in, and at the end it didn't deliver. I felt it was left unresolved. Yes, there's no quick way to resolve stuff sometimes, but I was expecting a little more closure or hope at the end of his story. It was very emotion-stirring, nonetheless.

The setting was also captivating to me. Most of the story happens in Dellie's building. She lives in a poor and dangerous neighborhood, even though she's not as poor as some of the other residents. It was interesting and different to explore life in this type of setting, a place where fights and the sound of gunshots are the norm but it's still home. It was creepy and fascinating at the same time. I did really enjoy this part. However, this also led to my feeling that Dellie was childish. Somehow, I believe that growing up in that type of surroundings also forces a child to be more mature.

Even though it was a sweet and heart-warming read, it left no impact on me.

1 comment:

  1. I liked this book more than you did. I liked Dellie's voice and didn't feel like she was too immature. She was dealing with so much and barely swimming above water.


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