Sunday, January 25, 2009

Alive and Well in Prague, New York by Daphne Grab

Alive and Well in Prague, New York by Daphne Grab

Released: June 2008
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary
Pages: 256
Source: Library

Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 

Matisse Osgood is a New York City girl through and through. She buys her clothes at Andy's Cheapies, watches indie films at the Angelika, and wouldn't be caught dead on a hayride. But when her father gets sick and Matisse's parents decide to leave Manhattan for a small town in upstate New York, her perfect world crumbles. 

As Matisse trudges through life in Prague, she dreams of waking up in her apartment on West 78th Street with a father who's well enough to walk with her in Central Park and a mother who doesn't pretend that everything is okay. When rumors surround Matisse at school and her father's symptoms worsen, Matisse realizes that the friends she's making in Prague are the kind you can count on. They help Matisse find the strength to reach out to her father, who may not be as far from her as she thought. And one particular farm boy shows Matisse that country living is a lot more magical than she ever imagined.


More in likely if this book didn't hit home for me, I probably wouldn't have picked it up. There are so many stories about a girl from the big city that stumbles into the small town trying to find her place. No, I never lived in the city and had to move to the middle of no where. I acutally grew up in the middle of no where. But in this story Matisse's father has Parkson's Diease. And in my own life, my father has Multiple Sclerosis. Not the same thing obviously, but the effects it has on a family is exact.

With Matisse, I knew what she was going through. Constantly being asked how your father is doing. Having everyone ignore the big pink elephant in the room. Not wanting to talk about it at all and pretending that life is still the same. But the biggest one is unwanted sympathy.

Your heart will go out for her as she tries to keep things hush-hush while getting use to this new life. I loved the supporting characters that help break down those walls that Matisse has built up around herself since the day her father was diagonsed. And I'm not one for a farm boys, but the one is this story appealed to me!


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