Sunday, May 24, 2009

M+O 4EVR Tonya Hegamin

M+O 4EVR by Tonya Hegamin One of the great things about participating in C.O.R.A Roll Call besides the chance to win books is reading other bloggers post. In a recent Roll Call about YA books, Summer mentions M+O 4Evr. Seeing the cover on her page reminded me I wanted to read this novel. This was published in 2008 and is Hegamin's first novel. Opal and Marianne were best friends before their first steps. Somewhere along the way Opal fell in love with Marianne. Before Opal could save Marianne, she commits sucide. Opal uses her memories and family to come to terms with her loss. This book is only 165 pages but somehow Hegamin has written one of the most diverse novels I've read in a while. Marianne's mother is Dutch and used to live in an Amish country. The only thing Marianne ever knew about her father was that he was Black. As Opal remember's we can see that Marianne is ridiculed for being biracial in a small town. The novel alternates between Opal's memories and the love story of a slave named Hannah. Growing up Opal's grandmother told Opal and Marianne the story of the runaway slave who fell in love with a Native American. Opal's grandmother is dating the one eligible White man of a certain age. The other women who would love to date Roscoe, are not too happy with this interracial relationship. I quickly lost myself in Hegamin's smooth and easy writing. As much as I liked Opal I loved Marrianne. I have my finger crossed that the author will go back and revisit Marrianne, giving her a book of her own. There are a lot of YA books released in 2009 about a dead parent, sibling, or best friend. Only two have stood out to me so far - Forman's If I Stay and Kephart's Nothing But Ghosts. I loved both for different reasons. After about the fourth or fifth book dealing with a loss, I said no more for sixth month. So I will admit to cringing when I read the inside flap of M+O 4 Evr. After reading the first page I worried no more. I knew this one would rise above the others like Forman's and Kephart's. One thing all three novels have in common - the author's don't use the loss of the main character as a crutch. They remember to make the reader feel not with a loss but rather their words. M+O 4Evr is a wonderful first novel. Ages 12up

6 comments:

susan said...

Great review. Wouldn't you know I linked to Summer's post for Little Lov'n Monday. This does sound good and I've been wanting to read this author. You know it's on my list now.

Finished Mitali's book. Wow. Loved it.

Thanks,

Doret said...

Susan, you've just bumped Secret Keeper up, I'll read it next. And I think you'll enjoy M+O 4Evr

KB said...

Please stop writing good reviews. I don't have time to read all of these books!!! I am adding this to my pile!

Mary Ann Scheuer said...

Beautiful review, Doret - it makes me ache to read this. What age group would you say?

Doret said...

Mary Ann- I'd say 12up

Ali said...

I love that you picked this book from Summer's browsing of the library shelves--and even better that it was this good!