Monday, August 5, 2013

The Serious Kiss

Libby is a freshman. Libby is the only girl in her family. Libby is the daughter of an alcoholic. And it kills her. 
It kills her to see her father rot away to nothing. It kills her to be so ashamed of her life. It kills her to be on her own. But there's nothing she can do about it. 
Until she learns to let go. 
Just as her life is seeming to work out, her father's alcoholism costs him his job and his family their house. They must move into her thought-to-be dead grandmother's retirement village comprised of trailers and "mobile homes" that aren't very mobile. Libby's life sucks. How can she adjust? Why now, when her life was just starting to take a turn in the right direction? 
Basically being on her own, she desperately searches for the love her parents now do not provide. Before she left her old home, she made a goal of having a "serious kiss" before her next birthday. Now it seems like letting go is the only way she's going to come close to any kind of kiss, let alone a serious one. 
Mary Hogan did a marvelous job of creating Libby's voice in this book and of creating such a harsh reality that I'm sure is actually happening in some families. Bravo to her! The father's addiction really played a key role in this book and set the story. Without his problem, none of this would have happened to this family. Hogan did a really great job developing the complexity of alcoholism and explaining it in a way that makes people get it. I seriously recommend this book, especially to teenagers, but also to children and spouses of alcoholics because I feel like it's something they can relate to. 
I look forward to reading more by Mary Hogan, and I'm sure once you read The Serious Kiss you'll agree with me. 

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