Friday, April 30, 2010

A Friend at Midnight by Caroline B. Cooney


Dr. Bordon nodded for a while. "Just give it some thought," he said, finally, "and some prayer."
"What do you think I've been doing? Giving it potato chips?"
Lily's parents are divorced. They have been for a while, and it's not the divorce that is troubling Lily. Nor the fact that they have a new stepdad and half brother. Alright, that might be a little bit troubling. And the fact that Lily's sister, Reb, has gone off to college is also a bit disturbing to Lily- but the real thing hits her with her brother. Her eight year old brother, Michael, has gone to live with their father. No biggy, right? Except for the fact that he's abandoning her. Them. All of them. Fifteen year old Lily, though, brushes it off. She doesn't trust her dad, but whatever. What could go wrong? When Lily gets a call in the middle of the night from a public pay phone at an airport several states away, she finds out what exactly can- and has- gone wrong.
"Oh, hi," said Amanda. "I was just about to call. Nathaniel's here, all upset from the screaming and yelling, and he wants to live with me and I said of course, forever, I love you you're perfect, and he said, Then can I have ice cream? The thing about three-year-olds is, Lily, they're honest. It all comes down to ice cream. Who dishes it out and who doesn't. I," said Amanda with satisfaction, "am a disher-out."
I picked up this book because of a) the title. "A Friend at Midnight" just sounds cool, doesn't it? b) The cover. I mean, look at it. Neat-o much? So, I read it, and I was, and I quote "sniffling" (because I wasn't laughing out loud- but it was still hilarious) all the way through. I would not recommend this to anyone who can't deal with at least a little bit of religion, but if you can deal with it, then this book is pretty amazing. (I, myself, as long as the book isn't too overly religious, am fine.) I would give this about 4 1/2 stars. It had an amazing ending, and very happy. It left me satisfied, and I'm willing to give (or take away) star points just because of the ending. Read this, if only to get to the happy end. :)
In Sunday school, Michael's teacher discussed the Star of Christmas. Had it actually been a comet? Maybe the juxtaposition of two planets? Had there been a star at all? Probably the whole thing was a myth, giving simple peasants something sparkly in the midst of their dreary lives. Only a minute ago, Michael had believed in Santa. He did not want to hear that the Christmas star was just another con game. He decided his Sunday school teacher was a loser (there was evidence of this already) and he stopped listening.

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