Because who can afford books in this economy?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Say the Word by Jeanine Garsee

Title: Say the Word
Author: Jeannine Garsee
Published: March 2009
Synopsis from goodreads:
The world expects perfection from seventeen-year-old Shawna Gallagher, and for the most part, that’s what they get. She dates the right boys, gets good grades, and follows her father’s every rule. But when her estranged lesbian mother dies, it’s more than perfect Shawna can take. Suddenly, anger from being abandoned ten years ago is resurfacing along with Shawna’s embarrassment over her mother’s other family. As she confronts family secrets and questions from the past, Shawna realizes there’s a difference between doing the perfect thing and doing the right thing.
Shawna’s honest and relatable voice will draw readers in and hold them until the last page in this coming-of-age story. Jeannine Garsee has delivered a compulsively readable second novel, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Laurie Halse Anderson.

Hmmm...I'm not really sure what to say about this book. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. I always wanted to pick it up and read more, but when I actually was reading it wasn't so great. The family dynamics were basically the whole novel: Shawna's mother left her and her father for a woman. Her mother dies and she has to deal with Fran, her mothers partner, and her sons in ways that she never imagined. Her father is a controlling jerk, and Shawna tries to be perfect for him. It's all about the relationships.

I never really connected with Shawna, which I though was a problem. A lot of the stuff she did I really didn't understand. A lot of the things that she said I didn't understand. I thought some things were out of the blue and just put there for more drama. Shawna's relationship with Arye was a little weird too. One second they hate each other, the next they don't.

One thing that I did like was that it was set in Ohio, which is where I live. And Shawna has her mind set that she is going to go to Kenyon College, a private college that's very hard to get into and very pricey. And, incidentally, is the place where my band has band camp. So when she talked about it, I knew what it was.

Like I said in the beginning, this book wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. If you like family drama, this is definitely the book for you.

Characters: 7/10
Plot: 8/10
Originality: 9/10
Writing: 8/10
Ending: 8/10
Overall: 40/50 B-
Title/Cover: 1/5 Not a fan of the cover, and I really don't see what the title has to do with the book. On a side note, it's the same cover model from North of Beautiful, a book that I LOVED.


  1. Great review! I noticed the connection with the North of Beautiful cover too. I think that girl is on some other YA book covers too.

    I don't know if I will read this one. If it is nominated for YA book awards I might give it a try. I love the books of Sarah Dessen and loved Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak so I might still like it. Thanks for sharing your honest opinions about the book.

  2. Awesome review, but this book doesn't sound the greatest! I'm not one for family drama so I don't think I'd enjoy it. Thanks for the review!

    from Une Parole

  3. Connecting with a character is pretty big when reading, so I'm not sure I would pick this book up. But I really enjoyed reading your review and maybe I will pick this up because you seemed to have liked it (even though you didn't love it).


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