Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Review: Girl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer

Title: Girl Unmoored
Author: Jennifer Gooch Hummer
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Source: For Review 
Format: Hardcopy
Buy The Book: 
My Rating:  
Apron Bramhall has come unmoored. Fortunately, she’s about to be saved by Jesus. Not that Jesus—the actor who plays him in Jesus Christ Superstar. Apron is desperate to avoid the look-alike Mike, who’s suddenly everywhere, until she’s stuck in church with him one day.

Then something happens—Apron’s broken heart blinks on for the first time since she’s been adrift. Mike and his boyfriend, Chad, offer her a summer job in their flower store, and Apron’s world seems to calm. But when she uncovers Chad’s secret, stormy seas return. Apron starts to see things the adults around her fail to—like what love really means, and who is paying too much for it.

Apron has come unmoored, but now she’ll need to take the helm if she’s to get herself and those she loves to safe harbor.  
Girl Unmoored took me completely by surprise and turned my world upside down. I can't remember the last time I was so emotionally invested in a fictional story. Hummer's profound messages of love and loss are are woven expertly in this moving tale. I came this close to literally shedding tears over the characters. I was quite the pathetic sight with my tissues and teary eyes.

When I first agreed to review Girl Unmoored, I thought I was in for a fun-loving novel about a young girl finding her place in the world. Instead, I found a quirky novel filled with deep, deep life truths. The cheery little yellow sailboat on the cover hides a story of devastating loss and life's ups and downs. Controversial topics such as homosexuality, premarital sex,  and AIDS stain the seemingly innocent story of a seventh grader's life. I usually stay away from books with such risky topics, but for some reason, this book snatched my attention and didn't let go. I finished it in one sitting, and the characters still haven't left my mind.

Told from 13 year old Apron's point of view, the story has an air of innocence. At the same time, our young protagonist is wise beyond her years. The events in the novel are not tainted with adult emotions, and yet they are not seen through the eyes of a child. Hummer could not have created a better heroine to tell this tale.

Since the beginning of literature, authors have attempted to pin down a definition for the emotion we humans call "love." From Shakespeare to Stephenie Meyer, millions upon millions of different opinions have been put to paper. However, I have never discovered one as pure and simple as Hummer's.

"Love doesn't always mean rings and veils and walks down the aisle. Sometimes love means broken windows and broken hearts, and not being able to fix either. And sometimes love means telling you, there's not such thing as time in Heaven so don't rush to meet me. Stay a while, and pick, girl, the roses."

Please, please give this hidden gem a chance. You owe it to yourself and to the brilliant author behind this masterpiece.