Friday, November 20, 2009

Quota Failure

I have to say, writing a novel is really eating into my reading time. I've only finished three books so far this month--it's really quite sad. On the upside, though, I'm right up to quota on my word count for my awful, awful, awful novel.

So I finished Taking Terri Mueller, which I have been looking at with interest on bookshelves for, literally, over 20 years. I remember it in my middle school library. The cover is positively iconic--the girl in a puffy vest, long hair pulled back at the sides, standing in a phone booth. I really enjoyed it. It was a thoughtful, emotional book about a girl who finds out as a teenager that her mother is not dead, as she had thought, but that her father took her in a custody dispute when she was young.

The book does an excellent job of dealing with the reality of the situation without getting into blaming. At various times I wanted to yell at the characters for doing such horrible things to each other, but the book doesn't dwell on that. And it really makes you think about how far we've come on subjects like divorce--co-parenting is not unheard of, and fathers have rights, too. (Though don't get me started on my brother's friend who lost a custody battle when his awful ex moved a thousand miles away, in spite of her own mother testifying on his behalf.)

Anyway, I read the book in honor of the late, great Norma Fox Mazer, whose Silver has always been one of my favorites. She was an iconic name of YA writing, even though I haven't read that many of her books, and she passed away recently. So thank you for much, Ms. Mazer.

I'll keep you guys posted, and I'll be back in December with more regular updates (God, I hope!).

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