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Rodent by Lisa Lawrence
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Rodent

by Lisa Lawrence

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Rodents are very resilient. They survive when nothing else can-even become immune to poisons. Did you know a rat can tread water for days?”
“No, I didn’t.” I laugh.
“Survive being flushed down a toilet?”
“No.”
“So if you’re a rodent,” he says, “you’ll probably outlive us all.”

Isabelle’s character makes me happy. She’s a teenager that has to put up with an alcoholic mother, violently alcoholic uncle and take care of her two younger siblings, but she’s not the typical I-can-do-everything! teen I usually seen in these books. She gets angry, she’s selfish, she gets into fights; just as most teens in that typical situation would find themselves.

Will is the romantic interest of the book. He is a bit of an outcast himself, though not much is found out character-wise about him. Honestly, I would have liked the book better if they had remained friends and the ‘romance’ had been left out. He was an interesting character for what was given, though.

The main focus within the school is that Isabelle is placed with a small group (including Will and herself) called The Words on the Wall in which they come up with a theme and poster words on the cafeteria wall that will eventually include the rest of the students. It sounds like a great idea, allowing teens to express themselves through the theme, but of course teens can be cruel and (like all YA high books based in HS) there are your typical mean girls to look out for.

The highlight of the little group are their meetings in the drama club prop room! Zara is a bit of a stickler for rules and order, but Damien is a care-free artist that goes around picking out the most ridiculous props for everyone. The room eventually becomes a important part of Isabelle’s story.

Jacquie is Isabelle’s cousin and a picture of what Isabelle is on the road to becoming/could have become. She dropped out of school, has already been in juvenile hall for fighting, and dresses in very revealing clothes.

There were a few times where the story had the perfect adult for the perfect situation, or someone just happened to have arrived at just the right time. I’m not typically a stickler for these, but when it happens quite a few times in one book it gets on my nerves.

Overall, Rodent is a good contemporary young adult read. ( )
  ReadingBifrost | Jun 5, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Isabelle is in grade 11. Her mother is an alcoholic, so Isabelle is the one who takes care of her two younger siblings, Evan and Maidie. Normally, she tries to stay invisible at school, but on her first day at a new school, she gets into a fight, which results in her being bullied.

I thought this was really good. It's YA, so it moved quickly and was a fast read. I definitely felt badly for Isabelle and hoped things would work out for her. ( )
  LibraryCin | Apr 25, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I liked this book! I received an early review copy and was excited to dig into it. The main character and story were believable and relatable, even though my life is nothing like hers. Sadly, I think there are many children and teens struggling through a difficult life. I really felt for her and her siblings and was happy with how the author tied the story together at the end. ( )
  lyndsay | Mar 16, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book! It was truly just a beautifully brutal, deeply moving and emotionally fraught gem. I won this book through a giveaway and really did not have that high expectations for it. However, I literally read it in one sitting (well, lying?, as I was in bed and decided to start it and did not end up going to sleep until about 1:30 in the morning) and could NOT put it down. I cried throughout half of the book, I kid you not. Horribly, ugly tears, of pain and sadness and despair for Isabelle. I truly loved this book so much more than I thought I would and just can not give it enough praise. 5+ stars without any doubt. ( )
  bookharpy | Mar 11, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
High school student Isabelle is dealing with about as much as she can handle: an alcoholic mother and two neglected younger siblings who demand her attention while she simultaneously dodges school bullies and holds down a job. Isabelle's single-minded focus holds her together, but is shaken as she tentatively accepts friendship and even romance as part of her whirlwind life.
I really liked the multi-faceted characters in this book. Isabelle is such an honest character: she's so steadfast in her desire to hold her family together, while at the same time pining for the warmth and affection lacking in her life. My only critique with this book is that it feels like it ends so suddenly. There are many events built up in the book that don't end up going anywhere. In particular, Isabelle's relationship with one of her bullies, named Celeste, comes close to a breakthrough, but then ends up seemingly forgotten entirely by the end of the book.
Overall, this was a gritty, interesting read, albeit with a rushed ending. ( )
  leahdawn | Mar 8, 2016 |
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