Three Pennies


Three Pennies (hardcover)

by Melanie Crowder


In Three Pennies, Marin is a child in the foster care system, and her social worker is determined to find her a forever home.  After going through three potential parents, she settles on a doctor who lost her partner and is looking to add a child to her life.   However, Marin isn’t as willing to BE adopted, because she hasn’t given up hope that her mom still wants her.  She uses 3 pennies and the I Ching (a book) to tell her future, and it is never positive.  Marin sets out to meet her real mother before conceding to her adoption.  This book sounds like it would be sad, but really, it felt hopeful and ended on a positive note.

What I liked about this book was the way Marin’s character was resistant to being adopted.  It seems like we feel like foster kids should automatically be happy they’re being adopted, but we have to understand that they’re feeling loss and rejection.  Marin’s mom made the choice to abandon her child.  It wasn’t like she was in a bad position or died.  I’ve had foster children in my class, and this story helps me understand the feelings of rejection they may be going through.

What I didn’t like about this book was the fact that the mother and her friend were even in it.  I don’t think it should have been that easy for her to get ahold of them, and it was frustrating that her mom met her and then rejected her to her face.  That wasn’t just heart-breaking, but it seemed a bit unrealistic.

Book 30 of 40


We Are Okay


We Are Okay (audiobook)

by Nina LaCour


Marin is a college freshman, and she is in her dorm for Winter Break.  Alone.  We slowly find out why- her mother is dead, she never knew her father, and she has no where to go.  Marin also struggles with her relationship with her friend Mabel, but we don’t immediately find out why, although we know that Marin and Mabel had an intimate relationship that ended.  LaCour flips back and forth between the present and the past, alternating chapters.  I love the way that was done.  It was effective and not at all confusing.

What I liked about this book was that it was beautifully written.  It was like reading a poem.  LaCour spent a lot of time going into detail in certain situations, and although it tended to be a quiet, almost depressing book, it didn’t make me want to stop reading, because the description was so beautiful.

What I didn’t like about this book was the character of Gramps.  It wasn’t her description of him.  He just really bothered me.  I can understand mental illness and depression, but I felt so sad that Marin was so lonely. I wanted her to have a good relationship with her grandfather.  I am not sure why this bothered me so much.

Book 56 of 40 (40 Book Challenge)