Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hyacinth Girls is a tragic but beautifully written book from Lauren Frankel. This narrative deals with bullying, love, and loss. This is different from other bullying novels because it deals with parents and children and how they both interpret and deal with bullying.
The story is told from varying perspectives. The story starts out from Rebecca’s (Callie’s guardian) point of view and then closer to the end of the book shifts to Callie. I enjoyed getting to read about the situation from two perspectives, parent and child. It was interesting to see how both sides were perceiving events and how the other person was acting. Rebecca’s point of view was boring at times, which was unfortunate because it comes first and is so much of the story. I wished there was a bit more character development on Callie from the beginning. The pace of the story was a little slow because there were other stories from the past happening. However, I understand some of the parallels Frankel made so it all makes sense in the end.
The book opens up with a billboard that says, “Do you know you’re children?” From there we learn the story from Rebecca, the guardian’s, point of view. She is very trusting and doesn’t fully understand what is going on for most of the book. At the same time we learn about Rebecca’s past with Callie’s parents and tragedies that happened long ago. A little more than halfway through the book we switch to Callie’s perspective. Callie fills in all the gaps from Rebecca’s piece completing the story for us.
Hyacinth Girls is a provoking read examining a difficult subject matter. I believe this novel can open up discussion among parents, schools, and children on dealing with the matter of bullying. Even though this is marketed as a young adult book, adults should read it as well. This novel digs deeper into emotions and reactions of both adults and children than other books that talk about bullying.