A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life

A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life
Age Range
16+
Release Date
February 14, 2006
ISBN
0385746989
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Simone’s starting her junior year in high school. Her mom’s a lawyer for the ACLU, her dad’s a political cartoonist, so she’s grown up standing outside the organic food coop asking people to sign petitions for worthy causes. She’s got a terrific younger brother and amazing friends. And she’s got a secret crush on a really smart and funny guy–who spends all of his time with another girl.

Then her birth mother contacts her. Simone’s always known she was adopted, but she never wanted to know anything about it. She’s happy with her family just as it is, thank you.

She learns who her birth mother was–a 16-year-old girl named Rivka. Who is Rivka? Why has she contacted Simone? Why now? The answers lead Simone to deeper feelings of anguish and love than she has ever known, and to question everything she once took for granted about faith, life, the afterlife, and what it means to be a daughter.

Editor review

1 review
Brief, but memorable
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Simone has always known she was adopted, pretty much. After all, her parents were always upfront with her about it even though shes never really asked for details. Now, Rivka, her birth mother, wants to talk with her and Simone is feeling mighty conflicted. Shes never wanted to know anything about where she came from or even why. Shes got enough issues just being a regular teenager (her best friend is totally wrapped up in her crush and Simones crush seems to have a possible girlfriend).

But after some balking, Simone does finally talk to and meet Rivka. She learns the whole story of how she was adopted (which I wont talk about her, as it is an interesting story that you should discover while reading the book) and starts to become closer and closer to Rivka.

That closeness comes with a price. She also learns that Rivka is horribly ill, even though she doesnt outwardly look it. She is dying.

Meanwhile, Simone starts to spend more time getting close to her crush Zack (who doesnt have a girlfriend after all). He ties well into the story for reasons related to why Simone was adopted (so, again, Ill not tell you why&just go read it already!). I really like Zacks character and his budding romance with Simone. It reads true and is one of the nicer, more thoughtful romances Ive read this year.

Recommended for readers aged 12 and up, especially if youre looking for a read thats both sentimental and honest, but not overly sappy. Adopted teens may especially get something out of this book.
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amazingly realistic
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Jannah

I found this book sad but truthful, many people have to go through people dying of cancer and it is heartbreaking (my grandpa). My mom's best friend just adopted a baby and he is a african american, but alot of people (even the doctors) think he is to light to be a African American, so we are thinking that the birth mother named the wrong dad... it is a total drama but this could lead him(Isaac) into some of the things that happened to Simone. I liked Zack, he is a very cool guy in my eyes and he sounds nice.

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Sad but hopeful
Overall rating
 
3.0
Plot
 
3.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Adriana M.

Simone is an adopted teen who has known all along she is adopted, but has not cared to know about her birth parents. When her adoptive parents start mentioning her birth mom, Simone is very resistant to knowing what her birth mother could want.

Although at first I couldn't really get into this book because some of the situations and language were pretty racy (16 year olds getting drunk, having sex and using pretty strong, foul language), I soon did start to feel for the main character. Simone's journey from at first rejecting the idea of knowing anything about her birth mother, to embracing her and embracing her Jewish background, did pull me into the story. The characters were overall well-rounded and I appreciated that Simone came full circle, matured, and always had her loving and supportive family and friends around her. I would recommend this one, however, not to the pre-teens or younger teens
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I am what I want to Be,Or am I?
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2.0
Plot
 
2.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Steph

Even though I strongly go against some of the beliefs in this book,i enjoyed it.The thing I really hated about it was how the main character was so hard headed and sort of stubborn but she knew what she wanted and I envy that.Also I didnt like the fact how she was Atheius and sometimes was kind of rude to other religions,but all in all it was really good.Even if it does support some things I don't like same-sex marriages,for example.
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Somebody Else's Impossible Life
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Jocelyn

In this book, Simone's birth mother, Rivka, wants to finally meet her daughter. Simone says no at first, but finally decides to meet Rivka, who, from what her adoptive mother has told her, is nothing like what Simone expected. Simone is struggling with her own identity, just like most teenagers, and throwing Rivka into the mix isn't helping. Simone starts to care for her mother--only to learn that Rivka is dying.

Dana Reinhardt does a fabulous job bringing the reader into Simone's world, and into her mind and heart. Simone is just one of the amazingly lifelike characters that populate Reinhardt's world, characters who we come to love and hate but are never boring. This book has the reader laughing one minute at Simone's friend Cleo and what's changed about her over the summer , and then crying about Rivka's illness.

This book is amazing! Pick it up next time you're at the library or the bookstore, and you won't be disappointed.
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Ever feel life is spinning out of control?
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by librariane

Simone is an adopted sixteen year old who has lived a happy atheist life up until now--her birth mother wants to meet her. Suddenly
Simone's world is turned upside down when she agrees to get to know her birth mother. Rivkah is Jewish (originally an Orthodox Jew) and is
dying from cancer, but Simone is enjoying (mostly) getting to know her anyway. Simone also is dealing with changing friendships (one friend
is dating a guy no good for her, another is pining for a guy he met at camp and her younger brother seems to be growing up quicker than she
is), getting a crush and becoming more involved in extracurricular activities. Overall, this is a powerful book about a teenage girl questioning who she really is and what she believes. Simone is a well developed character--you see her stubborness at the beginning of the book (there is no God) and watch as her black and whites in life become gray (perhaps there is a God...but she's not completely convinced yet). Her development is believable and her relationship with the adults in her life is accurate (though sometimes disheartening when she harshly talks about her parents). Note: there is some strong language, frank talk about sex and some tough life situations. This felt a lot like a Meg Cabot book, but one level up with storyline, language and style.
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