Sunday, January 27, 2008

Unfinished Portrait of Jessica, by Richard Peck

In this YA classic, Jessica (granddaughter of the namesake of the title) hates her mother for driving her father away, and when she gets the opportunity to go to Acapulco to see him for Christmas, she jumps at the chance. But the fantasy she has weaved about her father falls flat as his true colors are revealed. Jessica comes to realize that while he may not love her, there are others that do.

Fairly predictable and sanctimonious story about a spoiled child who grows up. Written without much of an authentic voice, I can't help but wonder why this was once a popular novel, but it is an instructive read: a good example of what YA once was like, before authors really took teen voices seriously. An interesting piece of literary history and a quick read, but flat and uninspiring.

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