Friday, August 30, 2013
Fingerprints of You, by Kristen-Paige Madonia
She convinces her friend Emmy to join her on a cross-country roadtrip to California, where she hopes to find her father (who she's never met). Classic road-trip story unfolds and California offers its shares of surprises and revelations to the girls.
Coming with a warm endorsement from the Godmother of YA (Judy Blume), the novel actually manages to live up to the hype. Madonia writes fluidly and creates complex and interesting characters. The actual plotting of the story can be a bit broken (Madonia has trouble foreshadowing properly and the ending of the book drags on a bit), but the characters make up for these flaws. Both adults and children have their share of strengths and flaws, and their interactions are mature and realistic. Key amongst these is the complicated struggle between Lemon and her mother that forms a fascinating thread throughout the story. Rather than just stringing raging dialogues together (as most YA books do), Madonia takes the time to explain each side's point of view in reasonable terms. Mother and daughter clearly love each other, even when they don't quite see eye to eye. And the dramatic arc of the novel basically recounts the ways that Lemon comes to understand how her mother's fingerprints are really found all over her life.