Tuesday, November 27, 2012

High School Pick: My Beautiful Failure

My Beautiful Failure
by Janet Ruth Young
Antheneum Books for Young Readers
304 pages

After his father’s sickness, Billy longs to help others. He signs up for Listeners, a suicide hotline advertised on billboards. His job is to listen and only listen to the voice on the other end of the line. He is not to offer any information about himself. He is not to get involved emotionally or meet the person face to face. His is not allowed to know personal information like the person’s last name or address.

That is until Jenney. Jenney is struggling. She is remembering repressed memories of child abuse and a crime so impossible it’s no wonder she suppressed it as a child. Her parents are monsters. The more Jenney remembers, the more she wants out. Billy tries desperately to help her. He waits for her calls, he longs for her voice, he believes he is the only one who can help Jenney save herself.

Jenney is Billy’s beautiful failure. She is the girl he falls in love with. She is broken and beyond repair.

Poignant and compassionate, My Beautiful Failure is not a “feel good” read. Readers who love a tear-jerker with believable characters will love this YA novel. Girls will empathize with sensitive Billy and likely admire his bravery and capacity for caring.

Recommended grade 8-up. Adult themes. Child abuse, infanticide, and suicide.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

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