Review: Hyacinth Girls by Lauren Frankel

22926549Released May 12th 2015 by Crown

Young-Adult Fiction

Coming-of-Age, Parenting

Hardcover (304 pages)

Publisher via Blogging For Books

My Rating 4 Stars

Thirteen year old Callie is accused of bullying at school, but Rebecca knows the gentle girl she’s raised must be innocent. After Callie is exonerated, she begins to receive threatening notes from the girl who accused her, and as these notes become desperate, Rebecca feels compelled to intervene. As she tries to save this unbalanced girl, Rebecca remembers her own intense betrayals and best-friendships as a teenager, when her failure to understand those closest to her led to tragedy. She’ll do anything to make this story end differently. But Rebecca doesn’t understand what’s happening or who is truly a victim, and now Callie is in terrible danger.

This raw and beautiful story about the intensity of adolescent emotions and the complex identity of a teenage girl looks unflinchingly at how cruelty exists in all of us, and how our worst impulses can estrange us from ourselves – or even save us.


Actual Rating 3.5 Stars

REVIEW I appreciate the writing in this novel and the issue of bullying, but this is not what I thought going into it. It took me a minute to figure out what was actually going on, which threw me off the purpose of the book. I hate bullying with a passion, as it’s something that I experienced growing up. This book tackles the perspectives of both victim and bully. It also grasps the role of parenting, and the journey to get to the truth.

It started out with a slowness that would make a snail seem fast. I just about gave up, but wanted to see what would happen. Rebecca’s parenting skills aren’t flawless, no one’s are. Her taking custody of her best friend’s daughter, after she dies, is commendable. She just wants to get to the truth, but she is also in denial about Callie’s involvement in the bullying. Callie is another story. She’s so all over the place. Is she just a victim dishing everything back out that she received? Then, there’s all the changing of scenes. Back and forth it went, and at the end everything is spilled out in the open.

This book is not written in the contemporary style that I’m used to. It’s more literary, and therefore you should go into it with that in mind. I do recommend this book. It started out slow, but by the end you’ll get some resolution to these characters. Trust me, there are a lot of them. Each play a role in this web of relationships, friendships, bullying, parenting, etc… Again, recommended.

reviewstars4of5

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8 thoughts on “Review: Hyacinth Girls by Lauren Frankel

  1. I find it interesting that it is more literary. I have been looking for some modern day literary books. As well as that, bullying is a subject I feel passionate about too. I wasn’t bullied but my little sister was, and it is truly something horrible to experience.

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