Throwaway Girl Paperback – Oct 18 2014
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Throwaway Girl is a rich, eye-opening novel that has the potential to create empathy in young readers. It introduces tough themes that reflect a harsh reality, but it always rings true, and Scarrow has created a believable character in Andy. (Quill & Quire 2014-10-01)
An audience of grade 6 to 8 girls will find the language accessible and the fast paced plot entertaining. (Canadian Materials 2014-09-19)
Scarrow toggles each chapter of the story between the past – Bernice – and the present Andy. This works very well to create suspense in the plot. Both as Bernice and Andy our heroine struggles to make sense of the world, take care of herself and make herself worthy of love. (Resource Links (Pouch Cove, NF))
It’s a story not told often enough: the forgotten child, left to the resource-poor system, but the heart of the book does not bleed. Andy is sentient, not a victim, but more an observer, and her narrative unravels gently, awaiting its readers. (Globe and Mail)
This is a darkly realistic, sometimes difficult book to read as Andy faces one challenge after another. It takes all of her courage and resolve to face the future with confidence. Well-written… (Winnipeg Free Press)
In this gritty YA novel, author Kristine Scarrow explores the hard life of a "throwaway girl." Sweet and vulnerable Andy doesn't matter to anyone — yet she shines with hope and resilience. As you travel with her through terrifying experiences and unbearable loss, you'll grow to love her in the way she's always longed to be loved. Scarrow takes on tough themes with her lucid prose, opening the reader's heart to Andy and the dark world she inhabits. (— YA novelist Alice Kuipers)See all Product Description
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In Haywood Home, a group home for troubled girls who are unable to be placed with foster families, Andy finds the security and comfort she has always longed for. Knowing she will be forced to leave in a few weeks, Andy reminiscences back on the events that led her to the home and struggles with her new found freedom.
Scarrow’s easy going and poignant voice quickly lulls the reader into a sense of complacency as the protagonist tells her story; alternating between the past and the present. Though I expected a more tragedy laced dramatic tale, it is obviously written for a young audience. The steady pacing, short chapters, and straightforward deliverance reveals a pain filled life without the darkness and in depth descriptions one might find in a more adult or mature YA. Scarrow introduces such topics such as self harming, drugs, alcohol, and rape; incorporating them in to the storyline without actually addressing them beyond a cursory acknowledgement.
An easy read over all, I did feel the short length and journal-like aspect of the story doesn’t really allow the reader to connect with Andy or the issues presented on a personal level. We hear what has happened but I never felt we really experienced how Andy felt during those times. We see an evolution in Andy’s character development but not for those she interacted with. I was left with questions concerning some of the people in her life and the reasons behind their actions. Her lack of curiosity at times was disconcerting.
Though I wasn’t blown away by Throwaway Girl, it does offer some interesting insights into the lives of children who are forced to run the gauntlet know as the foster care system.
I really enjoyed Throwaway Girl! It was a heavier topic that I felt was done well. The author's writing was magnificent! The writing in this book felt more like a memoir that delved more into Bernice/Andy's past than her present. Her past was really engaging, but heartbreaking. She didn't know her father and her mother was awful. The one chance she had at being happy as a child was cruelly snatched away from her. She was desperate and naive when it came to matters of love and affection, which led her to hanging with the wrong people.
This is why, to me, Bernice/Andy seemed like a genuinely good person. Despite her horrible past, she still wanted the best for the people around her.
I've read some reviews saying that the writing sounded a bit clinical and unemotional, but I thought the author did a great job of capturing each stage of Bernice/Andy's life. While I wasn't an emotional wreck reading some of the tougher scenes in the book, I did still hurt for her and with her. I thought the author perfectly captured the thoughts of a little girl who thought she was successfully hiding her home-life. The way Andy responded to the bad things that happened to her are perfectly normal for a girl that was never taught how to handle her emotions or the emotions of others. We shouldn't forget her upbringing.
That being said, the chapters in this book were really short and the book overall was pretty short. I think the author could have taken a little more time to elaborate on Andy's present. There were a lot of lapses in time that I would have loved to know what was going on, especially considering the description of the book lead me to believe that we would be focusing on what it would be like for Andy to age out of the system.
I would definitely recommend Throwaway Girl and am looking forward to future works from Kristine Scarrow!
When it did, about a week ago, I dived right in. And, in one word, I can describe the book for you- mediocre.
There is nothing memorable about this book. It just like there is a chunk, admittedly a huge changing point, of this girl's life, but nothing else. It was a plain story, with no mystery, no deep emotions- fear, mistrust, hurt, anger- that you so expect to see in cases like this.
So, Andy (Bernice, originally) has been in a variety of foster homes, and finally lands up in the Haywood House, after a rough childhood with her biological mother, Jacqueline. Now, she is eighteen, and has to move out. Difficult, right? And how hard will it be with a child with literally no stable home be able to make it in the big, bold, bad world?
That's (obviously) what I expected- and what did I get? Nothing. Not a thing. Her life albeit difficult, stays on the same, straight "right" path- with not a detour. And she just happens to meet a guy (who we aren't told much about AT ALL) who is perfect and everything, and falls madly in love (again, WHAT?) with her in a matter of months.
Nothing I expected was there, but it should have been, and even the elements there weren't portrayed well at all.
A no from me, unfortunately.
It was extremely difficult to read about Andy's past as Bernice. She was definitely dealt a crappy deck of cards, but is able to find someone to help her overcome it. Just when you think Bernice is on her way to a happy ending, she is facing even more tragedy. It was nice to see a girl in these situations not completely fall apart. Strong main characters are becoming a thing and it's awesome.
I didn't really connect with Andy in the present. She felt a little closed off and fake. I never really got a good vibe. She still went through a lot of tough things, but it didn't have the same impact as how she handled her past. It was also a bit too insta-love for my liking.
Overall it was a decent read, but nothing too earth-shattering. It was definitely headed in the right direction, just fell a bit flat to be amazing. There is a lot of potential though!
The author has painted a tangible world, where the tale was truly profound and dazzling. Foster homes and adoption in a YA work is truly challenging to read about, but Scarrow positively penned it practically seamlessly.
Throwaway Girl has sections interchanging among the past and the present, the past being, main character, Andy’s life prior her arrival to Haywood. I relished and valued the chapters in the past far more than those in the present. It was a tad bit more raw and heartfelt.
I completely adored Andy. I desired to hug her during the course of the novel, and that is what a character ought to do to readers. Crafting a bond and connecting to readers is the key to a reader's heart.
All in all, I liked the past bits of Throwaway Girl more. It would work better if we only had it involved, along with some parts of a present. Though overall, the novel is a nice little YA read.
An Advanced Readers Copy of the book was provided by the publisher in return for an honest review.
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