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Hyacinth Girls: A Novel
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Published:
Crown 2015
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
A stunning debut about a young teenager on the brink and a parent desperate to find the truth before it's too late. Thirteen year old Callie is accused of bullying at school, but Rebecca knows the gentle girl she's raised must be innocent. After Callie is exonerated, she begins to receive threatening notes from the girl who accused her, and as these notes become desperate, Rebecca feels compelled to intervene. As she tries to save this unbalanced girl, Rebecca remembers her own intense betrayals and best-friendships as a teenager, when her failure to understand those closest to her led to tragedy. She'll do anything to make this story end differently. But Rebecca doesn't understand what's happening or who is truly a victim, and now Callie is in terrible danger. This raw and beautiful story about the intensity of adolescent emotions and the complex identity of a teenage girl looks unflinchingly at how cruelty exists in all of us, and how our worst impulses can estrange us from ourselves - or even save us.From the Hardcover edition.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/12/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780553418064
ASIN:
B00N6PD2VK
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Lauren Frankel. (2015). Hyacinth Girls: A Novel. Crown.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Lauren Frankel. 2015. Hyacinth Girls: A Novel. Crown.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Lauren Frankel, Hyacinth Girls: A Novel. Crown, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Lauren Frankel. Hyacinth Girls: A Novel. Crown, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Needs Update?:
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:03:58
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:44:13
Last Metadata Check:
Apr 12, 2021 20:41:19
Last Metadata Change:
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Last Availability Check:
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Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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OverDrive Product Record

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      • bioText: Lauren Frankel received her BA in English from Vassar College. She has worked with young people, as both an educator and a librarian, in the US and the UK. She holds an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia, where she won the David Higham Award. Born in Connecticut, she now lives with her husband and son in England.

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title
Hyacinth Girls
fullDescription
A stunning debut about a young teenager on the brink and a parent desperate to find the truth before it's too late.

Thirteen year old Callie is accused of bullying at school, but Rebecca knows the gentle girl she's raised must be innocent. After Callie is exonerated, she begins to receive threatening notes from the girl who accused her, and as these notes become desperate, Rebecca feels compelled to intervene. As she tries to save this unbalanced girl, Rebecca remembers her own intense betrayals and best-friendships as a teenager, when her failure to understand those closest to her led to tragedy. She'll do anything to make this story end differently. But Rebecca doesn't understand what's happening or who is truly a victim, and now Callie is in terrible danger.
This raw and beautiful story about the intensity of adolescent emotions and the complex identity of a teenage girl looks unflinchingly at how cruelty exists in all of us, and how our worst impulses can estrange us from ourselves - or even save us.

From the Hardcover edition.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Daily News
      • content: "Quite the twisty tale."
      • premium: False
      • source: People
      • content: "Disconcerting and suspenseful, Frankel's debut offers insights into the pressures of adolescence, the cruelty of society--and how little we know our children."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 30, 2015
        The particular cruelty that can arise in female adolescent friendship is explored in Frankel's engaging but somewhat convoluted debut. Its problem arises from two interesting but complicated stories that vie for the reader's attention. Callie's story is primary—a 13-year-old orphan raised by her mother's best friend, Rebecca. The seemingly carefree girl is suddenly accused of bullying someone in her class, and shortly thereafter Callie's life unravels. Rebecca, über devoted to her charge, can't help but get involved and reflect on her own problematic teen friendships—notably the bond she had with Callie's free-spirited mother, and a debacle with her other close friend Lara, who ended up marrying Rebecca's cousin, Curtis. The contrast between Rebecca inadvertently antagonizing Lara years earlier (she made fun of Lara's stuttering, not knowing Lara was within earshot) and what's now possible in the age of social media is eye-opening, and Frankel perceptively depicts a spiral of brutality that would have been unheard of just a decade ago. But the combination of these story lines results in unnecessary melodrama and undermines the impact of Callie's riveting story.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        March 1, 2015
        When a bully turns into a target, it's hard to know whom to blame. And, as this twisty debut demonstrates, whom to believe.Murder and suicide don't make for an auspicious entree into motherhood, but that's how Rebecca becomes the caretaker of her late best friend's daughter, Callie, when the girl is only 4. Frankel introduces us to this odd little family nine years later, as teenage Callie's face goes up on a billboard next to a pointed question: "Do you know your children?" The answer isn't a mystery (spoiler: no), but we spend the rest of the book retracing Rebecca's and Callie's steps to find out why not. A lonely dental hygienist with insomnia and an awkward budding romance, Rebecca means well but lacks the intuition to see through Callie's lies about the misery her school life has become. Callie blames Robyn, an unpopular girl in her class, for the trouble Callie and her friends have been getting into. Rebecca's version of support looks like willing gullibility, driven by her insecurity about playing the role of mom: "I had never been a great one at connecting the dots," she tells us, and we soon find out she's not being modest. As she peels away the layers of Callie's story, much of which is revealed through instant messages and texts between the girls, Rebecca discovers that her worst fears about herself and her young charge are depressingly accurate. It seems clear that we ought to root for Rebecca and Callie, but it's much less apparent if their redemption is even an option. Hell hath no misery like a mean girl scorned.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 1, 2015

        When we first meet Rebecca Lucas, the naive yet well-meaning dental hygienist who narrates most of this novel, she has just commissioned a billboard displaying a teenager's face with the question: "Do you know your children?" The teenager is Callie, the daughter of Rebecca's best friend Joyce who was killed when Callie was young. The mystery of Joyce's death, revealed in bits and pieces throughout the story, is connected to a small-town puzzle that Rebecca and Joyce tried to solve themselves when they were teens. The perspective of the story shifts between these flashbacks and the current drama unfolding at Callie's school, where she is accused of bullying--though Rebecca is convinced that Callie and her catty friends are in fact the victims. Callie gets to tell her side of things about halfway through, with details of the heartbreaking cruelty that teenage girls inflict on one another. VERDICT Frankel's debut includes beautiful turns of phrase and poetic language, and although it's a bit predictable, the plot zips along nicely. This could serve as a quick read for fans of literary thrillers or a cautionary tale for parents of teenagers.--Kate Gray, Worcester P.L., MA

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: School Library Journal
      • content:

        October 1, 2015

        Rebecca, guardian to 13-year-old Callie, has just learned that Callie has bullied Robyn, a girl from school. Certain that Callie would never do such a thing, Callie's friends stand up for her, and the accusation goes nowhere. When Callie herself becomes the target of relentless bullying, it appears to Rebecca that Robyn turned the tables and has become the bully. Rebecca, treading on very unfamiliar ground, is Callie's guardian because her best friend Joyce was killed in an automobile accident. As the first narrator, Rebecca relates the events in Callie's life while seeking to understand how to handle it based on her own childhood relationships with Joyce. Callie doesn't know the real story behind her mother's accident, or of her father's subsequent suicide. This leaves the girl unsure of who she is and whether or not she might become like the imaginary people she believes they were. Teens' interest will pick up when Callie tells her story. Readers need both perspectives in order to understand how Rebecca, through her struggles to understand, keeps missing clues to what is really going on. Fearing for Robyn's life as much as for Callie, Rebecca is determined to make everything all right, but sometimes, others intervene to make decisions for themselves. Teenage friendships, loyalty, and when to stand one's ground is at the heart of this story. VERDICT The race to the suspenseful end will keep readers reading long into the night; the conclusion will inspire much thought.-Connie Williams, Petaluma High School, CA

        Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        May 15, 2015
        Rebecca likes to live in a world of order, where outcomes fall neatly into place after directions are followed to the letter. But after she becomes the legal guardian of Callie, her late best friend's daughter, she's forced to face how complicated life can be, especially once Callie is accused of bullying. Rebecca is incredulous that her sweet, smart charge could be responsible for tormenting another student and joins in on conversations vilifying the bullied girl and accusing her of being desperate for attention. But in the wake of the incident, Callie begins acting strangely and Rebecca gradually uncovers the depth of the 13-year-old's secrets, as well as the truth about who the real victim is. Debut author Frankel alternates between Rebecca's and Callie's perspectives, providing insight into the messy, secretive emotions each buries beneath her calm exterior. Though Rebecca occasionally seems painfully out of touch, her anxiety about caring for Callie, as well as the intensity of Callie's teenage emotions, comes through in Frankel's lyrical prose, all while revealing the pervasive, damaging cruelty both children and adults can so carelessly espouse.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
A stunning debut about a young teenager on the brink and a parent desperate to find the truth before it's too late.

Thirteen year old Callie is accused of bullying at school, but Rebecca knows the gentle girl she's raised must be innocent. After Callie is exonerated, she begins to receive threatening notes from the girl who accused her, and as these notes become desperate, Rebecca feels compelled to intervene. As she tries to save this unbalanced girl, Rebecca remembers her own intense betrayals and best-friendships as a teenager, when her failure to understand those closest to her led to tragedy. She'll do anything to make this story end differently. But Rebecca doesn't understand what's happening or who is truly a victim, and now Callie is in terrible danger.
This raw and beautiful story about the intensity of adolescent emotions and the complex identity of a teenage girl looks unflinchingly at how cruelty exists in all of us, and how our worst impulses...
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