Thursday, August 14, 2014

Customer Review: Water Balloon

Water Balloon
by Audrey Vernick [j Vernick]

Some 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?

New Customer Reviews appear regularly in the pages of the BookGuide web site, particularly during the Summer Reading Program. You can visit the Customer Reviews page to see them all and/or submit your own, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually as we receive them.

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