I loved A Month of Mondays by Joelle Anthony ($11.95, Second Story Press) is about Suze Tamaki, whose life gets turned upside down when her mother suddenly reappears after abandoning her family 10 years before. Once Suze gets over her initial cynicism, she thinks it might be cool to get to know her mom, but her older sister Tracie – who has been as much mother as sister at times – is determined to make Suze’s life a misery for even considering it. Things at school aren’t much better after one of her teachers decides the way to cure her apathy about class is by moving her into honours English and pairing her with straight-A student Amanda.

The book has it all.

The story itself is wonderful as well as unique; it’s not often you read a story where the mother abandons her children, and how those kids, and their father, try to live without her, and then have to decide whether to allow her back into their lives.

The characters, both main and secondary, are amazing as well.

Suze is a fantastic character – funny, smart and confused, but trying to find her way. I laughed hysterically in a number of spots (the telephone call with Amanda and the subsequent scene. Priceless), and started bookmarking passages I wanted to share in this review. I eventually stopped because I was bookmarking every other page or so including a particularly wonderful passage about vegetarians.

“Vegetarians don’t eat any animals,” said Suze. “Vegans don’t eat any animals or animal products, like honey. People who eat fish but call themselves vegetarians are misguided.”

Oh, I love this book.

My other favourite character is Mr. Baker, the teacher who puts Suze in honours English. I hope everyone gets at least one teacher in their school career like Mr. Baker, who sees the good in his students when others – including the students themselves – can’t.

A copy of this book was provided by Second Story Press for a honest review.

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