Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Bad Tickets

by Kathleen O'Dell.

A coming of age book if ever there was one, this tale of Mary Margaret Hallinen's life-changing summer is set in the late 60's, during the draft and the era of drugs and sexual revolution. Could there be a time more suited to the whole notion of breaking out of the old, predefined ideas of your future and your behaviour and wanting to find a whole new way of doing things, all your own? It's almost too easy a device, but it works here, where she is finding her way while in tension between her parents' loveless shotgun wedding and the ensuing mess of Catholic children and her new best friend's wild, partying ways, including hanging out at a house full of hippies.

In the end, a bold act and a surprise twist teach her something about how to find something in between, and how even the boldest can find themselves going down a road that she never wanted. It's a good read, though it's a little scary to watch a young girl so out of control, but I like the way it balances the sides of the coin while it avoids being lesson-y.

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