professornana (professornana) wrote,

and the word is...

As Shawna herself observes, she has 3 different personalities. There is PERFECT Shawna, the dutiful daughter who gets top grades and has applied for early admission on her way to med school. Then, there is PATHETIC Shawna. She is the one always ready to beg and plead for attention from her father, from Devon, even from her ex best friend. And finally, there is EVIL Shawna, the one who will stand up and speak her mind. How can Shawna live three distinct lives? Simple answer? She can't; no one can. In SAY THE WORD (Bloomsbury, 2009), Jeannine Garsee delivers an interesting examination of family dynamics. The family has its usual share of flaws: a temperamental and controlling father, an aging grandparent, and an absent mother. Shawna's mother left years ago to live with another woman. For Shawna, this was the ultimate act of abandonment. However, as this story opens, Shawna's mother dies suddenly. Now, Shawna is placed in the middle of a revenge-fueled battle between her father and Fran, Shawna's mothers partner. Issues of sexuality, family, abandonment, aging, and more seem to pile atop Shawna who feels her life slipping out of control. Can she merge the evil,pathetic, and perfect aspects of herself and become the Shawna she needs to be?
Tags: ya books
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