Rating: 3/5 Stars
Release Date: 6/9/2009
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About the Book: Eleven-year-old Aubrey is barely surviving. Her younger sister and her father were killed in a car accident and her mother has left Aubrey-and hasn't come back. When Gram discovers that Aubrey is by herself, she brings Aubrey with her to Vermont. Aubrey writes letters to help deal with everything that is going on around her. Aubrey slowly makes friends and talks to the school counselor, but healing is a long process.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I read Love, Aubrey because it's on our state book award list for 4th-6th grade. I think this is a book that is going to split readers-either they will like it or not.
I remember when this book first came out and there was Newbery buzz surrounding it. It reads a bit like a typical Newbery-character is dealing with a tough/serious/sad issue, has a family problem, is cut off at first but learns to heal and overcome said issue-add in a strong main character, a few heartfelt moments, and friends that help the character (and a cute animal character is always a plus!)
So I was a bit mixed on if I liked this one or not. The typical award formula was a bit too much for me. It's a very good book and very well written. The author tackles tough issues, especially for a tween novel, and handles them delicately. She's also never message heavy which I think readers will appreciate. Aubrey is a bit of a difficult narrator because her grief is so heavy and that takes a toll on the reader, which I think is part of why I didn't enjoy this book as much as I could have. I listened to the book on audio, and this especially made listening to the book very hard. The narrator gives Aubrey a scratchy, sad voice, which makes listening to the book a bit depressing. I also wonder if readers will get tired of Aubrey and not stick with the book-it look me awhile to like her.
I love the character of Bridget and she is an incredible friend for Aubrey. She was my favorite character in the book and I wish the world had more people like Bridget who are caring and understanding-no matter what. She's a great character for young readers to meet but at the same time I wonder how realistic Bridget is.
Readers who stick with the book will be rewarded though. Readers go through the healing process with Aubrey and through this I felt I liked Aubrey more. I don't know that this will be a favorite on the Mark Twain Award list, but I think it will have a small select fan base, especially with readers who enjoy contemporary novels. It wasn't my favorite book on the list, but I can see readers who need this book, hard as it might be to read.
Book Pairings: Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles (another MG book dealing with grief and it just reminded me of this book-not sure why), Keeper by Kathi Appelt (abandonment, mothers)
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from audiobook CD checked out from my local library