My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: April 4th, 2017
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Siblings, Dysfunctional Family
Gem has never known what it is to have security. She’s never known an adult she can truly rely on. But the one constant in her life has been Dixie. Gem grew up taking care of her sister when no one else could: not their mother, whose issues make it hard for her to keep food on the table; and definitely not their father, whose intermittent presence is the only thing worse than his frequent absence. Even as Gem and Dixie have grown apart, they’ve always had each other.
When their dad returns for the first time in years and tries to insert himself back into their lives, Gem finds herself with an unexpected opportunity: three days with Dixie, on their own in Seattle and beyond. But this short trip soon becomes something more, as Gem discovers that to save herself, she may have to sever the one bond she’s tried so hard to keep.
Gem & Dixie used to be thick as thieves. Always together. Had each other’s backs. Laughed together. Cried together. But they’re growing apart. What could possibly stop that?
When their father resurfaces in their lives, Dixie is thrilled. Gem, however, being the careful girl that she is, is suspicious of their father’s reappearance after so many years.
And she was right to be. After all, he did leave a bag full of money under their beds. How did he get this money? Something smells fishy here.
Now they’re on the run. Took the cash and left.
This is a moving story that depicts the bond between sisters during hard times. Gem & Dixie may have grown apart these last few years, but they know they will always have each other regardless. Whatever happens.
GEM & DIXIE also illustrates how a dysfunctional family can affect children. Gem was certainly not supposed to be the mature one in the family, yet their mother gave her no choice in the matter.
But most of all, this novel’s underlying message is that no one is perfect. No family is perfect. No one has only good in them or only bad in them.
Their mother may not be the most responsible mother on the planet, and their father sure could have given them some support over the years, even from afar, but that doesn’t mean they have bad in them only.
Being a parent is the hardest job, they say. What matters is that you keep trying and don’t give up on your family.
Once again, very moving novel.
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