Thursday, July 19, 2012
Edgy Pick: Lucy in the Sky
The publisher likens this novel to Go Ask Alice and the front cover says, "in the tradition of Go Ask Alice." I'm sorry, but Go Ask Alice is the more tragic book, the more heartfelt book, the deeper narrative of the two ya novels, and the young protagonist in Go Ask Alice is begging to be helped and loved. The main character of Lucy in the Sky is a middle class girl who doesn't seem to have a group of friends or any interests, really. She's kind of riding the coattails of older brother Cam until she meets a new exciting group of friends.
These friends like to party and do recreational drugs and our protagonist goes along like a willing lamb to slaughter. Whereas, the character in Go Ask Alice seems more vulnerable and sad; the protagonist in this updated version of teen turned druggie just doesn't cause readers to empathize with her much. At first, I thought maybe it was because I read Go Ask Alice many years ago, but no, my eighteen year old daughter just read Lucy in the Sky and agreed with me totally. The girl in Go Ask Alice made readers care about her and worry about her and hope she could come clean. And then, in the end she did! And the readers cheered; and then, she died; the readers cried!
That being said, Lucy in the Sky is a sad and tragic tale of what might happen if a teen does not have a circle of friends, interests that motivate her, passions that ignite her, and a family who is involved and not CLUELESS. Teens will empathize with the narrator (diary writer) and feel saddened by the ending. Most teens have probably met someone like her in their high school. This cautionary tale will resonate with fans of edgy realistic fiction. The teens who read this MUST go back and read Go Ask Alice.
Recommended grades 9-up. Drugs, language, mature situations.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.