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young adult book reviews & more

Alive and Well in Prague, New York by Daphne Grab

Alive and Well in Prague, New York (Laura Geringer Books)Matisse Osgood is the daughter of a painter and a sculptor, so it’s no wonder she’s named after an artist. But tragedy strikes her family when her father topples from a ladder and gets a concussion. It turns out that he has nerve damage and is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. That prompts the family to move from New York City to small town Prague, which breaks Matisse’s heart because she has to leave behind the city she loves. And moving doesn’t seem to help anything at all. Her father is still sick, her mother pretends like nothing is wrong, and Matisse is worried someone will find out her family’s secret.

In the process, Matisse manages to make one true friend, Violet. They are similar in so many ways; they both hate Prague and can’t wait until they can finally get away from the small town. There’s also her friendly neighbor Hal, who seems dorky at first but grows on Matisse. But not everyone is so welcoming. There’s the nasty popular girl Jennifer who seems determined to make everyone hate Matisse. The false rumors start to fly, and Matisse still can’t deal with her father’s sickness; she compares it to a wound. And eventually, all secrets have to come out.

Alive and Well in Prague, New York is a beautiful story about a young girl learning to cope with her father’s illness. It was interesting to watch Matisse grow and find out what really mattered to her. In some ways, Prague was stereotyped as other backwards small towns with its hayride and seemingly stupid traditions, but the setting wasn’t as important as the characters. I have to say that Matisse and Violet are probably two of my new favorite fictional characters; they have so much style and I’m not just talking about clothes. At first, they only have each other, and they are perfectly content with that; that is something to be admired. They might not seem like it in this small town setting, but they are truly kick-butt heroines. I also appreciated the romance, even though it was only added in at the end.

I recommend Alive and Well in Prague, New York if you like a shorter but meaningful read. There’s a lot that can be learned from this novel about family and friendship. Look out for it when it comes out early in June.

Rating: 4.0

Review copy from author Daphne Grab

6 munch(es) :

keri mikulski :) said...

I like the title. Great review!

Felicity said...

I am dying to read this book! I can't wait for it to come out.

Nicole B. said...

I've heard a lot of good things about this book - and besides, it's in NY. I'm dying to read it. ^^ Nice review.

Hillary said...

I've read this book too. I really liked it.

daphne grab said...

thanks so much!

Charley said...

This sounds quite good. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the review.

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