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One Mother Damaged. One Family Tested. One Daughter Determined to Find Her Place... Just Claire by @

Title: Just Claire

Author: Jean Ann Williams

Genre: Young Adult

Book Blurb:

One mother damaged. One family tested. One daughter determined to find her place.

ClaireLee’s life changes when she must take charge of her siblings after her mother becomes depressed from a difficult childbirth. Frightened by the way Mama sleeps too much and her crying spells during waking hours, ClaireLee just knows she’ll catch her illness like a cold or flu which hangs on through winter. ClaireLee finds comfort in the lies she tells herself and others in order to hide the truth about her erratic mother. Deciding she needs to re-invent herself, she sets out to impress a group of popular girls.

With her deception, ClaireLee weaves her way into the Lavender Girls Club, the most sophisticated girls in school. Though, her best friend Belinda will not be caught with the likes of such shallow puddles, ClaireLee ignores Belinda’s warnings the Lavenders cannot be trusted. ClaireLee drifts further from honesty, her friend, and a broken mother’s love, until one very public night at the yearly school awards ceremony. The spotlight is on her, and she finds her courage and faces the truth and then ClaireLee saves her mother’s life.

My Review:

Just Claire...or just the Book of Job for young adults.

First let me say, the touching acknowledgement brought tears to my eyes and I offer my sincere condolences to the author for the loss of her son.

The book was not an easy read. Let me say also the book was very well written and really puts the reader in the time and place clearly. The style is one that draws in the reader and makes him/her feel for ClaireLee. I loved the character ClaireLee and only wanted her to find some happiness. Lolly is probably my fave character; Lolly really saw the world through the eyes of an innocent 3-year-old and it was incredibly well done.

Now the suffering and trauma that ClaireLee suffered seemed never-ending and with her plaintive prayers to the Lord for help it really reminded me of the Book of Job. How much did ClaireLee have to suffer? Almost every positive thing that came about for her was immediately followed with a terrible negative that destroyed the positive.

The bully Kaye was a horrible, hateful, evil character. If a parent knows of a horrible sub-human who is bullying in their social circle, then this book is key to read to children to let them understand how evil and vicious and low-character bullies are. I would have thought a positive end for Kaye would have been her struck dead by a truck… alas, that only happened in my mind.

If you wish for your young adult to understand life is made up of challenges and you must just keep battling, then this is a good book. A very hard book about a really sweet girl who really deserved a nicer life.

My Rating: 3.5 stars

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Author Biography:

From 1996 to the present, Jean Ann Williams has written over three hundred articles for adults and youth, which also included a healthy eating column for a teen magazine. Also, she has published articles in eight book anthologies. Currently, she writes a column for Putting on the New blog, and Book Fun Magazine on the topic of suicide loss. Her first book "Just Claire" is for ages 12-18 and touches upon the topic of mental illness of a parent, for Jean Ann experienced this as a child growing up. Her second book, "God's Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother's Heart" is her memoir devotional about the loss of her son, Joshua, to suicide in March 2004. Jean Ann's newest release "Road Trip of Delusion" is an action/adventure/survival story for ages 12&up.

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Reviewed by: Mr. N

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