"I have wondered for quite a long time
whether or not life is one big tragedy.
Sometimes it seems to be
and sometimes not."
Seeing the size of this book after reading the first two books in the Make Lemonade series was intimidating at first, so I am very glad I started out listening to the audiobook.
Yes, that's right, I said started. I don't believe in using audiobook reviews to critique the story, but I will say this: This book was so good that I couldn't wait to finish listening to it - I made it about 3/5 of the way through the CDs and then had to pull the book off the shelves at work to finish reading it sooner. After getting started with the audiobook and then seeing the verse that Wolff wrote the story in, I have to say the book was not so intimidating, and actually a quick read.
I loved hearing Heather Alicia Simms read this book. She did such an extraordinary job bringing life and validity to all of the characters, from LaVaughn's preachy best friends Annie and Myrtle, to deep-voiced Patrick, from undereducated Jolly and her six and four-year-old children, to motherly and perhaps over-educated Dr. Moore; I would pick up another book read by Simms in an instant.
I'm saddened that this was the conclusion to the series - if you read the book the last chapter is written so there could easily be at least one more book to the series, maybe Wolff will change her mind, or maybe fans will be stuck writing their own version of a fourth book.
This Full House is a Young Adult book (Amazon recommends grades eight and up) - if you have parents who come to you asking if they should pre-read a book before they let their child read it, this would definitely be one of those books to say "yes" to. I also plan on recommending this series to our teen patrons who prefers books (think Ellen Hopkins' series) with a sort-of "troubled/struggling" protagonist.
(Unfortunately I did listen to/read this book at the end of 2009, so it will not count towards the YA Reading Challenge)