My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Seventeen-year-old Ror is forced to move from her commune to a residence for the homeless in Manhattan when her father burns down their house and perishes in the blaze. In shock from the loss of both home and father, Ror then faces the usual challenges of going to a new school that many other teens undergo as well. She gravitates to the artistic peer group in the art room and is attracted to Trey, the charismatic leader of a graffiti crew. Desperate to belong, Ror pushes to join the crew and passes gang-like initiation rites before she steps into the dangerous world of graffiti art.
Julie Chibbaro’s newest book is a suspenseful, romantic, and poignant coming of age story that is told through her riveting gritty prose and the striking illustrations of JM Superville Sovak. Together they create a vivid depiction of a budding artist finding her way through the labyrinth of identity development. The contrasting pressures from Ror’s family, school, graffiti crew, and art mentors compel her to confront the meaning of being true to herself. It is a journey that will resonate with most teenagers, even though it unfolds in the unusual and refreshing context of underground art.
The novel also skillfully depicts Ror’s passage through the stages of grief over the loss of her father. Her dreams about and conversations with her father’s specter are as moving and evocative as they are original. Through the novel, Ror searches for a balance between his legacy and anarchic worldview and her emerging values and vision. In the end, she comes to peace with his death when she finds an authentic path for her own life.
As with all good reads, I want to share this one with someone else, so look below to enter the giveaway to receive a free copy! (US and Canadian shipping addresses only, please.)
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