From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Haunted by guilt that she caused her mother's fatal car accident, Maggie leaves her tenth-grade clique to take up with outsider Dahlia and her crazy family. The accident left Maggie lame, and she feels like Frankenstein. But what bothers her more is her fierce attraction to Dahlia. Does Dahlia love her back? In her first YA novel, McMahon, who has written for adults, weaves in a lot about friends and enemies, home and school, outsiders and their secrets, and too much detail about Dahlia's mentally ill mom (who takes the kids shoplifting) and the music group where Maggie finds a place. There's also too much about outsider kids, including Joey, who lives in a cave to escape his abusive dad. But many teens, gay and straight, will stick with Maggie's first-person, present-tense admission of her passionate love for Dahlia, the prejudice she faces (including her own mixed feelings), her denial, and her joy.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2008 Booklist
School Library Journal
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Gr 9 Up-Maggie's sense of self was shattered, along with her leg, in a car crash that killed her mother two years ago. Now 15, she is reborn in the alternate identity of "LaSamba," an eager follower in the wild, creative fantasy world of her intoxicating new classmate Dahlia ("Tiki") and her mentally ill mother. In this emotionally powerful and realistic story set in the 1990s in a small town in Connecticut, Maggie loses herself completely in her new identity, and slowly but surely comes to find a true, new self that includes the indisputable-but scary-fact that she is a lesbian and in love with Tiki. Readers are swept along with Maggie's swirling feelings, making it easy to understand how easily this fragile, sensitive girl could lose herself. Secondary characters also have complex emotions and motivations. Had this novel been published 15 years ago, it would've been a groundbreaking addition to LGBT literature; as it is, it still stands strong as a period testament to the anti-"lesbo" feelings of that era, as well as simply a well-written tale of self-discovery. Sex scenes focus on emotion and are not overly explicit.-Rhona Campbell, Washington, DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.