Thursday, March 8, 2012
Book Review: Dear George Clooney Please Marry My Mom by Susin Nielsen
Yay! A book for Tweens that doesn't involve the paranormal. What a relief. And what a delightful and enjoyable read. Susin Nielsen has captured the voice of a 12-year-old the way Judy Blume did so many years ago. Reading Dear George... transported me back to a time when things were simpler. The story isn't simple (Violet is coming to terms with her parents' divorce), but it is funny and sweet. What I liked most about the book was Nielsen's style of writing. She writes in a way that makes her characters pop off the page, and no matter the age of the reader, the characters are relatable, even when, at times, they are unlikable.
Violet gets the idea in her head that her mom should marry George Clooney (who cares that he's the consummate bachelor) so her mom can stop dating losers, especially her latest find Dudley Weiner. And Violet really thinks Clooney can be a possibility because her mother met George once on a film set when she did his makeup (or was it hair? I do know that Clooney doesn't wear makeup when filming. He refuses to). The plot may sound lighthearted, and it is, but Violet is a young girl who is in a lot of pain. Her father left the family for a younger actress and moved to LA to start a new family with her, leaving Violet and her younger sister behind. Violet is hurt by this abandonment, and like most tweens she refuses to really acknowledge it and allow herself the chance to heal. Instead, she feeds cat turds to her half-siblings and only talks to her dad with the help of a magic 8 Ball. But like any coming of age story, Violet will make strides in her growth. Things won't be tied up with a pretty pink bow, but the load she's carried on her shoulders since her dad left has definitely been lightened by the end.
If you have 10-13-year old girls in your life, and you want to protect them from the Twilight garbage that's out there then give them this book. Tell them about the Judy Blume books you read as a kid, and that you hope this one becomes one of their favourites.