Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Review: Call Me Amy by Marcia Strykowski

Title: Call Me Amy
Author: Marcia Strykowski
Publication Date: May 1, 2013
Target Age Group: Middle Grade
My Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

Book Description (from Amazon)

For Amy Henderson, 1973 has been a lonely year of so many awkward moments she's actually lost count. Things turn around quickly when she assists in the rescue of an injured seal pup. To help save Pup, she forms an unlikely alliance with a questionable boy in a worn-out army jacket, as well as a peculiar older woman the kids in town refer to as "Old Coot."

Amy soon finds that people aren't always what they seem, as she nurtures Pup back to health with the help of her two new companions, Craig and Miss Cogshell. Unexpected detours occur as an ill-intentioned harbormaster hunts down Pup and a group of nosy popular girls set their affections on Craig.

As if these weren't obstacles enough, an even graver challenge presents itself soon thereafter, threatening the future of the entire town--and Amy's life as well.

My Review

This is a Book Expo America 2013 book. Many thanks!

This book tricked me. First, I wasn't sure if I'd even be interested in it based on its description. Anyone who knows me knows it's not my typical reading fare. Also, when I first started reading it, I found very common themes about the main character's sister who was the popular one and the one who the parents doted on while the main character was all but invisible. Also, there was lots of what I considered over the top description and dropped references to let the reader know what time period the story took place in. Craig didn't seem very developed, and neither did Miss Cogshell, although she was very vividly drawn.

And then something changed.

As the three characters came together in the midst of taking care of an injured seal pup, suddenly they all became alive in my mind. The interactions between the three of them caused each of them to open up to the others, and suddenly I began really caring about these characters. I learned each had a history of their own, that each had their own problems, and that each could help the others cope with theirs. By the end of the book, I was totally invested in all of them, especially during tragic events that I of course can't reveal (spoilers you know). 

For those people looking for an action-filled adventure, there's very little of that to be found in this book. For those that like a slow build, however, and a warm-hearted story, then this may be the right book for you. It turns out it was the right one for me as well.

I would definitely recommend this one.

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