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Wreath by Judy Christie

Wreath Wisteria Willis is an orphan. She's never known her father, and her mother has just died from the cancer she's had for years. Wreath is heartbroken, but she and her mother Frankie have been preparing for this. Months ago, Frankie gave Wreath a card for the foster agency, and told her to call and inform them that she will soon need a foster home. Frankie is worried that Big Fun, her abusive boyfriend, will catch up to her daughter, who has evidence for his crime.
Wreath loves her mother. She really does. But she doesn't think she can trust the foster care people, nice as they may be. After all, no one else she's ever trusted has come through. So soon after the death of her mother, Wreath runs away to Landry, Louisiana, her mother's childhood home. Here she will (hopefully) complete her senior year of high school, get accepted to a good college, get a job, and avoid notice. Why must she avoid notice? She's on the run from Big Fun (who certainly isn't fun), and oh yes, one other thing. She's living in a junkyard.
Wreath lives on peanut butter crackers and water bought from the Dollar Barn in town. She takes showers at the state park, and sometimes cleans herself up in the library's bathroom. She manages to get a bike, which becomes her constant companion going to and from town. Wreath starts to make friends, and enrolls in Landry High School.
Wreath becomes successful at school, and the clothes she wears (foraged from old trailers in the junkyard) are all the rage among the popular girls. She gets a job at a store in town. Wreath starts going to church, and realizes it isn't as boring as she remembered. She slowly starts to make connections, and she indirectly brings an entire town together. Along the way, she even discovers something huge about her father. Wreath starts to open up to those around her, and they start asking questions about where she lives.
Then Wreath disappears for two days. Someone finds her in the junkyard. Now he knows her secret. Will he tell on Wreath, or will she disappear again? Or will he find something else in the junkyard?
I really enjoyed this debut novel from Judy Christie. Her details are amazing, and even the minor characters are well-shaped and intricate. Most of all, I loved the message behind the book: that Wreath is not alone, no matter how she may feel.

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EvetteT said...
Dec. 27, 2013 at 11:11 pm
  This is good. writing but you talk a lot about the plot instead of focusing on what makes the book a good or bad book. My advice is to tell the reader the qualities of the book and why you loved it, what makes the book unique, etc. Overall it was a good read
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