by Audrey Vernick [j Vernick]
novels are so powerful in their style that one must cleanse their
reading palette before tackling the next book. This is the case with Water Balloon.
Marley is an observant seventh-grader. When Marley surprises her
friends with a balloon blitz during a Monopoly game, she takes pleasure
in her friends having no idea how they could be sitting outside playing a
game on a hot spring day and the next moment being bombed with water
and balloons. Marley is also a self-aware teen. When her mom drops her
off to stay with her dad for the summer, Marley is poignantly aware that
all she really wants to do is wrap herself around her mom and not let
go. Even when Marley is confused, I love how carefully she tries to sort
through those emotions. Some novels are also so dramatic in their
events that it's hard returning to reality after closing the last page.
This is not the case with Water Balloon, but that's a reason why I like it. I never lose touch with the heart of Water Balloon. Everything in Water Balloon
is about how complicated relationships are. The relationships almost
always remain real to me, because of how normal the interactions are.
Nothing really extraordinary happens to help Marley to realize that she
needs to open up her life to new traditions and friends, but that again
goes back to how real her life feels, and why Water Balloon
is a quiet gem. There were a couple of problems. When Marley finds
herself deserted, Marley compares herself to a loner at school. Maybe
readers are supposed to feel sympathy for the solitary, but the
comparison bothered me because of how Marley always negatively viewed
the girl. As the summer progresses, Marley encounters the boy next door.
Yes, they do have one quarrel, but otherwise he reads like every girl's
dream date. In reality, relationships with guys are just as complicated
as those with girls. Those quibbles aside, I found Water Balloon as a beautiful, calming novel. Marley is someone I'd love to meet in real life. And Water Balloon is the type of quiet fiction that leaves me clamoring for more of its kind. -- review submitted by Allison H.-F. - a customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?
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