Monday, December 24, 2018

The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary by NoNieqa Ramos: It's a Hard One

Macy's school officially classifies her as "disturbed," but Macy isn't interested in how others define her. She's got more pressing problems: her mom can't move off the couch, her dad's in prison, her brother's been kidnapped by Child Protective Services, and now her best friend isn't speaking to her. Writing in a dictionary format, Macy explains the world in her own terms—complete with gritty characters and outrageous endeavors. With an honesty that's both hilarious and fearsome, slowly Macy reveals why she acts out, why she can't tell her incarcerated father that her mom's cheating on him, and why her best friend needs protection . . . the kind of protection that involves Macy's machete.

3.5 out of 5 stars
The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary is as disturbing as its name implies.

While in an effort not to trivialize or pretend as if teenagers don't go through hard things, I'd timidly but strongly suggest this novel for older teens. 

Macy is disturbed or is she? Forced into a life of neglect, poverty, and dysfunction--it's hard to decipher "crazy," behavior from a cry for help.

Macy's mom is as present as she is absent and her father is incarcerated. She has a best friend, Alma who's life is just as complicated as Macy's. Her other bestie, George wears a helmet and is a gentle giant.

Told in a series of chapters, some short and succinct, and some poem-like, The Disturbed Girl's
Dictionary is a hard-hitter of a novel never dallying in the sweet but delivering the truth in a harsh, and sharp tone. Some of this novel is down-right cringeworthy and eye-shutting. 

For a debut novel, the author had no qualms about telling this story with all of its real quirky craziness.

The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary though better suited for older teens is a story worth reading if not for enjoyment, but to peel back the layers of the realities like these that are normally covered or ignored.

A worthwhile gritty read not for the faint of heart.

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