Friday, May 08, 2009


For a fast, satisfying real-life fiction read, try Somebody by Nancy Springer. Our fifteen-year-old main character has had many names in her life. It isn't until adolescence that she begins to realize how unusual this is. Why does her father move her and her brother around so much, always changing their identities? What is he running from? Are the stories he tells about their mother--he says she was a cheater who didn't love her own children--really true? When the narrator begins to search for her past, she uncovers the secret her father has been hiding and then must decide what to do with that knowledge.

This one won't take long to read but that doesn't mean it's fluffy. The author raises interesting questions about identity and responsibility. Once the mystery of the narrator's past is solved the story still continues as she tries to proceed without hurting anyone--a goal that becomes increasingly difficult as time goes on. I liked the characters Springer created, especially the narrator's flawed older brother and the nerd boy the narrator befriends. I'd have liked to see more of the father character and gotten a better sense of him as he was the only really one-dimensional character, but our narrator makes up the difference.

Worth the read.

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