Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review: Thank You Mrs. M by Kate Rothwell

Thank You Mrs. M
Thank You Mrs. M by Kate Rothwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had this title in my TBR for ages, dating back to when it was published by Cerridwen Press. I was scrolling through my TBR shelf for things to buy during Fictionwise's 60% coupon sale when I clicked on this title. Lo and behold, it's currently free from Smashwords. And quite frankly, you can't go wrong with free.

Thank You Mrs. M is a retelling of Daddy Long Legs, but this time the narrator is an teenaged Latino male, Ben. I have to say, despite some rough patches, I really enjoyed this. Since the entire story is told by Ben to a tape recorder, it's difficult to get to know the other characters, but I liked the fact that when we meet Ben, he's already determined to change his life. He knows he's at a disadvantage, given where he starts demographically & economically, but he doesn't sit around lamenting the situation.

Given my own demographic & economic level, I can't speak as to how authentic Ben actually is as a character, but, for me, the book had a similar feel to Simone Elkeles's Perfect Chemistry series. As in the original source material, a romantic relationship does develop, and Rothwell gives it an unique twist that led me to wanting to see more. We don't really get to know the heroine that well because we only see her through the lens of Ben's words. I would love to see Rothwell do another take on this story, but from the heroine's POV.

I have this categorized as young adult, but the main characters are in their early twenties. I think I felt it was more young adult because it's very much a coming of age story as Ben fights to get his family and himself to a better position in life. So I would recommend this for high school and above.

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