Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Slow Dance in Purgatory

Slow Dance in Purgatory
by Amy Harmon
From the publisher:
"The hallways are empty, the school day long over, the din of lockers and youthful laughter have dissolved into silence. It's as if the very walls are waiting. And then through the intercom a song starts to crackle, the soundtrack of a forgotten life. And the band begins to sing - "Lovely Maggie falls for Johnny, a boy no one else can see. Heartthrob Johnny, 50s bad boy, trapped for eternity. Lonely boy and lonely girl, unsolved mystery. Maggie and Johnny, only high school sweethearts, because Johnny can't ever leave. Do wop, Do wop.." 

In 1958, a rumble goes down outside the brand new highschool in Honeyville, Texas. Chaos ensues, a life is lost, and Johnny Kinross disappears. But in 2010, someone finds him. Orphaned at the age of ten, 17-year-old Maggie O'Bannon finally finds a permanent home with her elderly aunt in a small Texas town. Working part-time as a school janitor, she becomes enmeshed in a fifty-year-old tragedy where nothing is as it seems and the boy of her dreams might vanish when the bell rings. 

This volatile and mismatched romance is doomed from its start, as Maggie struggles to hold on to yet another person she is destined to lose. Secret love and hushed affection are threatened by outside forces, resulting in a desperate race to keep a secret no one would understand. Deeply romantic, funny and tender, Slow Dance in Purgatory captures the heartache of a love story where a happy ending might be decades too late."

It's official. Amy Harmon could write the phone book and I would read it and love it. 
This one is very different from some of her others, being more Young Adult and paranormal-y, but it was still intense and addictive. Be warned, it ends on a huge cliffhanger so you'll want to have the next book on hand. And it is really hard for me to review because I read Prom Night in Purgatoryimmediately after I finished, so I'm afraid I'll give something away and say too much. Suffice it to say, I really liked it, it held my interest, it was unique and different, the writing is superb, I cared about the characters, and I ordered it for my middle school library.

Areas of concern:
*There is some cussing, it didn't seem overdone or gratuitous.
*There is talk of a mom who is sleeping around.
*Some kissing.
*A very violent story is underlying the whole book. There is talk of blood and staring eyes, gunshots and fighting.
*Ghosts are talked about and seen. 

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