Honesty time: I have put this book off forever. At least a year, if not longer. And that’s not cool, especially since someone sent it to me to review. An actual book. I tried to start it a while ago, and just couldn’t get into it, so I let a few books get ahead of me. Then a few more. Then a cascade. Well, I needed to suck up and just do it (something no author wants to hear, I am sure). More honesty: I just had such a hard time with it from the get-go. Slow. Depressing. Joyless. Heavy. I couldn’t wait to finish it so I could pound out my review. Then something happened: the clouds began to drift away, the sun came out, and there was some of that amazing quality of hope. Now I am not going to say that the last few chapters completely altered my view of this novel, but it allowed it to have grace and promise.
Lettie and Bert might as well be orphans. Their mother, Gertrude, left them a few years ago, and Joel, their father, is mostly absent. Anything that needs doing, from the grocery shopping to the cleaning to taking care of Bert, is left up to Lettie. She hates her name, and has decided that going forward, she is going to use her confimation name: Annie. It takes her another step further from a mom who thought Leticia and Englebert were great names for kids. Though she mostly thinks of her mother with anger, she does wonder if she and Bert are missed or how much their lives would be different if she’d stayed. Then both kids are summarily shipped down to Florida when Lettie is discovered shoplifting. She’s never seen Joel so angry.
It’s definitely no picnic in Key West; Gertrude is married to Orlando, the huge hulking man with yellow teeth that took her mother away all those years ago. There’s basically no difference being there, except now there’s two people who don’t look after them. Lettie is full of unasked questions, but some of them escape from time to time. Her mother chooses not to answer them. Lettie realizes that while there are some things you can’t change, thing always have the potential to get better. It all depends on you.
No Alligators in Sight by Kirsten B. Feldman was published November 25, 2013 by KBFeldman Books. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to the Author.
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fiction
Ages: 13 and up
COYER Scavenger Hunt #43: Read a book that takes place during the summer. (3 points)
COYER Beach Party Read-A-Thon