Sylvie the Second – Kaeli Baker

Wow, talk about heavy. Yet this was an easy read despite the content as I read this in a day over a few hours.  Our story teller Sylvie is unnoticed in the middle of her crumbling family.  Her older sister Cate (Calamity Cate as Sylvie calls her) has mental health issues and is hospitalized again for trying to take her own life.  Sylvie, is fed up with always coming in last next to her sister and being completely unnoticed at school.  She dyes her hair and buys some new clothes becoming a completely different person overnight.  This gets her noticed, especially by the boy she’s really into, but also by people she really doesn’t need in her life.

She goes to a party just before school lets out for the year, this story happens over about a three month stretch, including Christmas and New Years, during New Zealand’s summer, and gets into trouble.  She’s caught the eye of the wrong guy and he ends up raping her at the party.  This leaves her confused and miserable.

Her parents are so wrapped up in their own dissolving marriage and hurt and pain of their first born in the mental ward, that they completely skim over Sylvie when she really needs them most.  The only person in her corner is her best friend Belle (of the books, Sylvie is really into alliteration) who helps her get her feet again over the summer as Sylvie struggles with the fallout of her own and others actions.

I rather enjoyed this book, despite the content and feel it gives a good account of how someone so young might deal with the issue of rape.  It also deals with everything positively as I felt Sylvie made all the best possible choices in dealing with her dilemma.

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