Monday, April 13, 2009
About the book:
Maggie isn't exactly popular. In fact, she's pretty much invisible. While most girls are going to parties with boyfriends, she's busy acting as mother and housewife to her two brothers and father. But what she really wants is to be noticed by her brother's friend Webb. Unfortunately, he's dating the school's hottest cheerleader.
When her sixteenth birthday comes along, Maggie makes a wish: Please, Lord, let sixteen be a great year; let me be pretty and popular and let Webb . . . it's too big a dream to even put the rest into words. Then she hears a noise in the woods that she can't ignore and takes a path that changes her life forever.
Whenever I read a book that contains any form of abuse--without meaning to--I remove my reader hat and slip on my professional one. I love it when an author gets the facts right. On the other hand, it irritates me to no end when the author gets something clearly wrong. In Maggie Come Lately, Michelle Buckman got all of her facts right. The tension is very well done and the conflict develops at just the right pace. The title even fits the story. It's hard to say why it fits without giving any spoilers so I will dance around the facts a bit and say this-- more than once I wanted to shake Maggie and say, "It's right under your nose." But on the other hand, she was well-portrayed because most people don't see abuse that is right under their noses either.
The character, Maggie, was a likeable character with realistic issues. I know, because my childhood was a lot like Maggie's. I had to do a lot of things in our home that my mother couldn't because she was bedridden with MS. I remember feeling like Maggie did, like I was responsible for so much stuff that I missed most of my childhood. So that struck a real chord in me. The author also did an amazing job at showing how boy/girl relationships should be based on mutual interests, and not just related to kissing, attraction, popularity, etc.
There could have been some scenes where issues related to her abandonment by her mother were played out more, but Maggie had enough going on in other areas so I could see that the author might not want to overwhelm the reader. It would have been nice to see Maggie really grieve the loss (as a teen) of her mom's presence in her life. Maybe that will happen in the next book. One last point--I loved how the author showed how that sometimes when you get what you "think" you want, whenever it's at the expense of someone else's pain, then it loses it's attractivness quickly. Maggie Come Lately was a great read and I'd highly recommend it.
Maggie Come Lately was published by NavPress and released in 2007.