Review: Something Wicked

Something Wicked
Lesley Anne Cowan
Puffin Canada
2010
978-0-14-317393-9

Troubled teen Melissa is struggling to get over her breakup with her twenty-eight-year-old secret boyfriend, Michael. To dull her pain, she turns to drinking, drugs, and promiscuity. But her troubles don’t end there. Melissa is also dealing with her younger brother’s death, an irresponsible mother, and being kicked out of school. Can she overcome these challenges and get her life back on track?

Cowan has written a gritty, compelling novel about a lost girl struggling to get through life. Melissa makes a lot of mistakes, but she is also smart. She is capable of doing well at school when she can focus and dreams of going to university to become a veterinarian. Given her difficult childhood as the daughter of a single mother who is still somewhat of a child herself, living in poverty, it is hard not to sympathize with Melissa no matter how many bad choices she makes. Fortunately, help is available in the form of counselors and social workers if Melissa can decide she is worth saving. Something Wicked is nominated for the 2012 White Pine award.

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