Sylvie the Second by Kaeli Baker.
This novel for teenagers, particularly reluctant girl readers, is honest, inspiring and positive in spite of the very serious issues it deals with.
Sylvie is 15 years old and feels invisible in her family. She calls her mother Pamela Panic, her father Damn-it-all Dave and her older sister Calamity Cate, and refers to herself as Sylvie the Second. Yes the family is dysfunctional and has issues and Sylvie focuses it all on herself.
Older sister Cate has mental health problems, is suicidal and this has fractured the family. The parents sleep in different rooms and all relationships are strained
Sylvie rebels, dyes her hair red and dresses wildly. She attracts the wrong sort of attention in the shape of Chris a rich boy with a “roastbuster” mentality. At a party Sylvie’s already sad life is blown apart. You will have to read the book to find out what happens.
I will say Sylvie does have a wonderful friend in Belle and then there is the wonderful Adam Allegro, the boy Sylvie has built an imaginary shrine in her head about.
Structured in 4-6 page chapters this novel is easy to read with the dialogue within Sylvie’s family and between the teenagers particularly convincing. The ending is positive and heartwarming and there is a gentle Buddhist like philosophy that pervades the pages.
Don’t miss this one it is special.