Friday, April 3, 2015

Review: Throwaway Girl by Kristine Scarrow

Throwaway Girl 
by Kristine Scarrow

Category: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: Dundurn
Publication Date: October 18, 2014
Page Count: 224
Format: e-book
Source: Netgalley (Thank you!)

Goodreads Synopsis: 
Andy Burton knows a thing or two about survival. Since she was removed from her mother's home and placed in foster care when she was nine, she's had to deal with abuse, hunger, and homelessness. But now that she's eighteen, she's about to leave Haywood House, the group home for girls where she's lived for the past four years, and the closest thing to a real home she's ever known.

Will Andy be able to carve out a better life for herself and find the happiness she is searching for?

Review: I am always more than willing to pick up a contemporary book when it sounds good to me, as it is my favorite genre to read. When I first saw this one on Netgalley, I do have to admit that a lot of why I requested it had to do with the cover. It looks a little bit familiar to me, though I am not sure why that is. I just really like the simplicity of the picture (and the fact that you can't see the model's face). The font and colors work nicely together, too, I think. I had pretty high hopes when I began reading this book, and unfortunately I was left feeling a little disappointed. 

I did really like the main character, Andy. She has a very rough childhood as she never knew who her father was, and had a mother who had constant issues with drugs. Due to those things, she was often left at home alone and hungry. It was when she told a concerned teacher at school the truth that she was taken away from her mother and put through foster care for awhile. She spent some time on the streets before finally being placed in Haywood House, a home for girls who are in very similar situations to what Andy had dealt with.

When the story picks up, Andy is eighteen and preparing to leave the House. They believe that she is fit to go out and make it on her own. I do think that the way in which the story was written was interesting. It switches back and forth from Andy dealing with life in the present, and then allowing us to see the situations in her past that led to where she was. I did like getting all of these details, though sometimes they did feel far too rushed for me to get a real sense or feel any connection to the characters. 

While the writing was beautiful, overall I think that the book was a bit too short for all of the details that it tried to include. I do not have a problem with shorter books, but I usually prefer when the try to develop one or two ideas instead of throwing in so many that they can barely skim the surface. That is what happened with this book. It talks about drugs, alcohol, suicide, self-harm, rape, and abuse all in a very short amount of writing. Because of this, a lot of these things seemed quite shallow and not quite as real or important as they should have been in the story.

Overall, I do think that this book would be fine for a younger YA audience as the difficult subjects are handled very well without going into too much detail or being too graphic. While I would have appreciated more detail so that I can see how it really affected the character, I do understand why the author may have chosen to leave some of these things out. Overall, I do think that the book was well done, I just wish it had been longer and that a few things would have been worked through differently.

Rating: 3.0 / 5.0


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