26 May 2011

A Room on Lorelei Street by Mary E. Pearson

Zoe feels pretty alone in the world.  She has some good friends, but she doesn't get to spend much time with them.  She and school don't seem to get along all that well.  She spends most of her time waitressing at Murray's, taking care of her alcoholic mother, and making sure that the bills get paid.  Everything revolves around Mama. 

One day, Zoe has had enough and chance leads her down Lorelei Street, which is where Opal Keats has an open room for rent.  Knowing that this might be her last chance at surviving her life (emotionally more than physically), Zoe allows Opal to convince her to take the room.  No one - not her friends, not Grandma - think that Zoe will be able to support herself on her own.  With only enough money to pay rent, buy a pack of cigarettes, and keep the gas level in her car just above empty, the odds are against Zoe, and her guilt at leaving Mama threatens to tear down her resolve to build her own life, as the true struggle to survive threatens to destroy her. 

This is a pretty powerful story of hard choices, desperation, and inner strength.  Recommended to all high school readers.
Call number: YA PEARSON; YA CD PEARSON (Teen Room)

Recommended by kate the librarian.

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