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Girl in Reverse by Barbara Stuber
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Girl in Reverse

by Barbara Stuber

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This DNF legitimately saddened me. I started Girl in Reverse amid the first wave of #WeNeedDiversity tweets, and I was so excited to read about Lily and her experiences. Sadly, the prose lost me almost from the beginning. Lily has a way of narrating that I think was supposed to feel natural and easy, but the text felt a little too elliptical, literally leaving me feeling lost. I don’t like having to stop to back up and figure out what half-tossed aside I missed buried within a sentence. I also was not digging the present tense at all.

More importantly, I couldn’t get a feel for either Lily or her world. I tolerated Lily and wanted to empathize with her situation, but her family felt too abstract. They were odd little caricatures off in a corner doing insensitive things. At least Ralph pulled his weight and called out Lily when she was making fun of “cupcake” sorority girls. Yeah! Fight ALL the stereotypes, Ralph! Also, except for the mentions of the Korean War, I had no sense that I was stuck back in the past. I really could have used more grounding.

I think Girl in Reverse is an important story, and I really wish I could have gotten into it a little more. So, like Dyerville, this will be shelved for a reattempt at a later date.

**ORIGINALLY POSTED AT http://www.shaelit.com/2014/06/dnf-review-the-dyerville-tales-girl-in-reverse/
  Shelver506 | Jun 13, 2014 |
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"Lillian Firestone is Chinese, but the kids in her 1951 Kansas City high school can't separate her from the North Koreans that America is at war with. Sick of the racism she faces at school and frustrated that her adoptive white family just sees it as 'teasing,' Lily begins to search for her birth mother"--… (more)

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