*I received a free copy of The Girl in the Well is Me from Alqonquin Young Readers via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers
Published by Alqonquin Young Readers on 15 March 2016
Genres: Children's Lit, Contemporary
Longing to be one of the popular girls in her new town, Kammie Summers has fallen into a well during a (fake) initiation into their club. Now Kammie’s trapped in the dark, counting the hours, waiting to be rescued. (The Girls have gone for help, haven’t they?)
As hours pass, Kammie’s real-life predicament mixes with memories of the best and worst moments of her life so far, including the awful reasons her family moved to this new town in the first place. And as she begins to feel hungry and thirsty and light-headed, Kammie starts to imagine she has company, including a French-speaking coyote and goats that just might be zombies.
Karen Rivers has created a unique narrator with an authentic, sympathetic, sharp, funny voice who will have readers laughing and crying and laugh-crying over the course of physically and emotionally suspenseful, utterly believable events.
The Girl in the Well is Me is very creepy in an abstract kind of way, and even more so in a completely tangible way!
The Girl in the Well Is Me is one of the strangest little stories I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Introspective, cut-off, separate, just like Kammie felt when she wasn’t in the well. Why, then, do I only give 2.5 start to The Girl in the Well Is Me, you ask? Well, it was very slow paced, and 85% of the ‘action’ happened while Kammie was stuck down in the well, musing about her life, mean girls, and choices. And while those are important musings, she could have very well thought about these things somewhere else. And I don’t think the mean girls suffered the consequences of their actions. At all! And it seems to me that one of the important themes in this story is exactly that – our actions have consequences, when we do something wrong, there are consequences – sometimes not only for ourselves but for other people as well.
The Girl in the Well Is Me was very well written, which made it so the slow pace didn’t make me want to stop reading. However, I found Kammie to be very, very mature for an 11-year-old girl. Even if she had been through some hard times because of her father’s actions, and that he was now in prison, I found her to be very adult. Both in her musings, and the way she narrated her past, as well as what her father had done that made everything in their family change.
Even if The Girl in the Well Is Me was slow paced, it was a quick read, if that makes any sense at all, and the first person narration worked well, even if I found Kammie’s voice to be ‘older’ than her 11 years.
I used to love to take baths with a million bubbles, so many that they were like a blanket that I could hide under. My favorite bubbles smelled like chewing gum and had a pink girl on the bottle. She had boobs the size of watermelons and her face was permanently frozen in a half-creepy smile, but the bubbles smelled like happiness and birthday parties and dancing and vanilla cake and everything good.
Metaphors and similes make my head hurt, picking apart those sentences in Language Arts, making all those words fall away from their sentences and separating them into gerunds and modifiers and whatever’s. It’s like sentence massacres, those poor words bleeding sadly all over the page. I don’t know why school has to take everything good and turn it boring and painful and bad.