Wednesday, July 26, 2006

It's Hot and Cold in Miami by Nicole Rubel

This is the first novel by Nicole Rubel, who, in addition to writing picture books, illustrated the Rotten Ralph books. The main character Rachel is the less appealing of a set of twins growing up in Florida in 1964, and while some of the stories are amusing, I found the book to be kind of unsettling. Rachel's twin sister Rebecca and their parents seem to blame Rachel for everything that goes wrong (and plenty of things do!). Throughout the book you get the feeling that Rachel will redeem herself and everyone will see how great she is, but that doesn't ever really happen. There are some funny stories about their wacky relatives, but mostly there are a lot of stories of Rachel being treated badly. At the end, she has developed her artistic talents and gets some recognition for them, but the pat ending doesn't really ring true. If you're looking for a light read and your expectations are not too high, this book is an ok choice. Review by Stacy Church

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