Violets are Blue
So, when Wren and her mom move to a new town for a fresh start, she is cautiously optimistic. And things seem to fall into place when Wren meets potential friends and gets selected as the makeup artist for her school’s upcoming production of Wicked.
Only, Wren’s mom isn’t doing so well. She’s taking a lot of naps, starts snapping at Wren for no reason, and always seems to be sick. And what’s worse, Wren keeps getting hints that things aren’t going well at her new job at the hospital, where her mom is a nurse. And after an opening night disaster leads to a heartbreaking discovery, Wren realizes that her mother has a serious problem—a problem that can’t be wiped away or covered up.
After all the progress she’s made, can Wren start over again with her devastating new normal? And will she ever be able to heal the broken trust with her mom?
I wish that Wren had reached out to other adults in her around her; while this is absolutely true to life and compelling in the way she didn't reach out, it would have been a good message for young readers who might be in similar circumstances if they had seen a character in a book identify people to whom she could talk. Krystal was a great help eventually, but I wish that Wren had been shown reaching out to someone in her life. It's what we try to teach students at my school-- identify a "trusted adult" at school and let that person know, just so that if something happens, it might be easier to mention it.
It's always good to see books about tweens who have a passion for some activity, and I can't say I've ever seen one about special effects make up! Dee's work is popular in my library, and this has just the right blend of school and home drama. The opioid epidemic shows no sign of slowing down, and so a range of books about students dealing with this is needed. Definitely purchasing. Add this to the slowly growing list of novels where tweens are affected by addiction like Messner's The Seventh Wish, Campbell's The Rule of Threes, Petro-Roy's Life in the Balance, Bishop's Where We Used to Roam, Hopkins' What About Will, and Walters' The King of the Jam Sandwiches.