School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 9 Up-Fifteen year-old Miriam feels tired, average, and ordinary in her small German town. She passes the time daydreaming in class, arguing with her mother, smoking in the girl's bathroom with her two self-obsessed friends, blasting music, sitting/sulking in her room, and sneaking into bars. She is waiting for something new, something big to happen to her. Then she is attracted to a new classmate, attentive and engaging Laura, and Miriam comes out of her shell. As Miriam starts to embrace the more serious turns of their relationship, Laura becomes hesitant and circumspect, leaving the changed Miriam devastated, but ultimately not alone. Bach's writing and Tanaka's translation offer well-drawn, familiar characters and prose that's spare yet descriptive. Miriam's narration, alive with Bach's insightful handling and clever turns of phrase, provides a sense of depth to the highs and lows of teenage emotions like Miriam's small-town claustrophobia, her impatience, confusion, concerns, fear, anger, elation, and heartbreak. Underage drinking, profanity, drug use and sexual situations make this a book for mature teens.-Danielle Serra, Cliffside Park Public Library, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.