Sunday, August 19, 2007

Book #35 Just Like That by Marsha Qualey

Another book I stumbled onto by accident. I was looking at young adult novels and thought that the author was another woman with a remarkably similar name. After reading that the novel took place in Minneapolis and was based around a real event that I remember happening, I had to read it.

A few years ago (and if I was a better internet searcher I could link to an article...I know they exist) two teenagers were riding on an ATV and they fell through the ice. One of them tried to crawl to shore but died on the way. The other was trapped underwater. I remember feeling absolutely sick about the teen who tried to get to shore...what thoughts must have been going through her (I think it was the girl) mind.

This event is the basis for Qualey's novel, but there's a lot more that goes on in the life of Hanna Martin besides being the last person to see the two teenagers alive. Some of the things that happen to her are a bit too coincidental for my liking, but as a young adult novel, it pretty much rocks. I would have, at "young adult" age, absolutely eaten this book up. As a 31 year old, I still read it in a day.

There are a number of events that happen in the novel "just like that"...the accident is just the beginning. While the novel takes a fairly unsatisfactory time jump at its conclusion, overall the lessons that Hanna learns during her eighteenth year are story-worthy, and Qualey's ease with getting into the minds and emotions of teens--both boys and girls--made the book ultimately a pleasure to read.

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