Standalone. Open Road Young Readers (February 2013) NetGalley
Delia’s new friend is not what she seems
Each day of Delia’s first week of high school, her parents ask her the same question: Did you make any friends today? Finally, the answer is yes. Her name is Amandine, and she is the most exciting person in town. An artist, a dancer, and a teller of tall tales, she has enough charm to make Delia forget her loneliness. Like Delia, Amandine is an outsider—a city girl with too much personality for a small town.. Delia notices something strange about her friend from the start. Everything she says is a little bit too wild to be true. When the exaggerations get more serious, Delia finds it’s too late to escape. Amandine has chosen Delia—and if Delia isn’t careful, the vengeful, dangerous Amandine will set her life on fire.
You know who's my new friend? Adele Griffin. After reading Amandine I am more than ready to read more. She crafts the tale of Delia, our main character, who just moved into town. Delia's a loner, overweight, and has a secret that can come and bite her back if she isn't too careful. The story is told in the past tense. Delia is trying to come to terms with how things turned out all messed up. She starts her story off with her meeting a strange girl with a lab coat and ballet shoes asking her if she wanted to see a journal she keeps of all of her ugliest things. The girl's name is Amandine and she likes to shock people. She likes to be noticed to which is evident based on her clothing. She also likes to manipulate you into staying her friend after you realize that even if she's very different from everyone else and she seems like a ton of fun to be with, in reality she's very harsh and will do anything to get what she wants even if it means trying to hurt you.
I loved the way the story was told in past tense. Delia has one of those wise, I've-seen-everything type of voices. It was easy to slip into her world because of that. I don't know how but Delia just got to me right away. I cared about her and could never think of seeing her as someone in the wrong. She may have played games with Amandine but she never meant anything to go to far. Amandine had a way of making her feel like she was in the wrong by putting others against her. And everyone just adored Amandine because she was so casually... her. She just does everything so overdramatically She's one person and then she's another. Nice, sweet, the perfect daughter that her parents could hope for. But, she was so... pushy and mean. The lives of others were just a game to her. I couldn't help be fascinated just like Delia was by how she interacted with people and swayed them onto her side.
I did not think she could tell I was staring at her, but she knew. It was something I learned about her, later. That Amandine was always aware of her audience.
Delia's secret was an interesting one. I think by Amandine trying to hold it over her head she made the situation worse for herself. Sometimes enough is enough but then Amandine of course had another trump card. The story was basically showing how things can spiral out of control. How if you don't take a hold of what makes you you there just may be a chance that someone will come up and give you a new identity, a new way of being. It shows you how easily the world can change you and one person can mess up what you percieved the world and people to be. It also about learning from your mistakes. Really what I thought about the message of the story was to choose your friends wisely and make sure they aren't crazy people... But, no really is was a great story with great messages. It was haunting and it was beautiful.
Ah, nobody learns anything from being happy.
Overall: Absolutely loved this book. It made me think. It's characters were fascinating. I loved this story so so much. I loved everything about it and more. And of course I loved it because how can I not be a fan of someone who's a fan of another great author - my favorite author - Robert Cormier - the genius.
For more info about the author and her books you should head over to her website where you will find info on all her books including an upcoming release (coming out Fall 2013) you might like if you liked Amandine:
LOUD. There was an accident. Ember knows at least that much. She was driving. The car was totaled. She suffered back injuries and brain trauma. But she is alive. That's the only thing left she can cling to.
AWAKE. Eight months later, Ember feels broken. The pieces of her former self no longer fit together. She can't even remember the six weeks of her life leading up to the accident. Where was she going? Who was she with? And what happened during those six weeks that her friends and family won't talk about?
LOST. One by one, Ember discovers the answers to these questions, like a twisted game of dominos. And little by little, the person she used to be slips further and further away.
In the wake of her critically praised young adult psychological thrillers, Tighter and All You Never Wanted, National Book Award finalist Adele Griffin has created another triumph. Loud Awake & Lost is an unflinching story of loss and recovery.