Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 2757
Brilliantly Realistic YA full of grit and hope
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Crossing Into Brooklyn ventures into a smorgasbord of important discussions from gender issues to socio-economic prejudices to highly dysfunctional families. The author, Mary Ann McGuigan, does a remarkable job of presenting realistic situations of societal issues that demand attention in an open, inclusive manner that never overwhelms the reader. Morgan’s journey is not one all have experienced, but her story and the stories of the characters around her are certainly relatable for many and eye opening for others.

This book is riddled with unlikable characters, all of which are tremendously frustrating but also brilliantly realistic. Readers who thirst for stories that contain all the grit, messiness, angst, and hope of humanity should pick this one up immediately. I often found myself wanting to pound my fist down on the table in anger at the characters, but the story provokes the anger and even annoyance in the best possible manner to cause the reader to reflect on why those emotions surface and to encourage the reader to take a closer look at the situation.

The plot drags a little in areas, but the descriptions of Brooklyn life and the characters are usually worth the slower pace. The ending is not for those looking for a happily-ever-after, but it does contain the perfect mixture of good and bad that life often leaves people with in real life. Some areas, particularly the romance, left me feeling a little dissatisfied, but once again, I couldn’t ask for a more true to life story line.

Perfect for readers who seek very realistic young adult novels, Crossing Into Brooklyn will break hearts with human heaviness but leave just the right amount of hope to keep going. Though the story has its flaws, I am overjoyed to read this excellent example of how to use unlikable characters to their fullest and best extent.
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