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Gem & Dixie
by Sara Zarr


Overview -

"A story that broke my heart and put it back together again. You won't want to let Gem and Dixie go." --Sarah Dessen, New York Times bestselling author of Saint Anything

From renowned author and National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr comes a deep, nuanced, and gorgeously written story about the complex relationship between two sisters from a broken home.  Read more...


 
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More About Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr
 
 
 
Overview

"A story that broke my heart and put it back together again. You won't want to let Gem and Dixie go." --Sarah Dessen, New York Times bestselling author of Saint Anything

From renowned author and National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr comes a deep, nuanced, and gorgeously written story about the complex relationship between two sisters from a broken home.

Gem has never known what it is to have security. She's never known an adult she can truly rely on. But the one constant in her life has been Dixie. Gem grew up taking care of her sister when no one else could: not their mother, whose issues make it hard for her to keep food on the table, and definitely not their father, whose intermittent presence is the only thing worse than his frequent absence. Even as Gem and Dixie have grown apart, they've always had each other.

When their dad returns home for the first time in years and tries to insert himself back into their lives, Gem finds herself with an unexpected opportunity: three days with Dixie--on their own in Seattle and beyond. But this short trip soon becomes something more, as Gem discovers that that to save herself, she may have to sever the one bond she's tried so hard to keep.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780062434593
  • ISBN-10: 0062434594
  • Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
  • Publish Date: April 2017
  • Page Count: 288
  • Reading Level: Ages 14-UP
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds


Related Categories

Books > > Family - Siblings
Books > > Social Themes - Runaways
Books > > Social Themes - Emotions & Feelings

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2017-02-06
  • Reviewer: Staff

For most of her life, 17-year-old Gem has played parent to her younger sister, Dixie: their mother spends her meager salary on drugs instead of food, and their long-absent father offers no real support. Now that he has unexpectedly returned to their hometown of Seattle, Gem is suspicious of his motives; when she discovers a bag of money he has stashed in their apartment, she hopes to persuade Dixie to ditch their chaotic home life. But the two sisters have grown apart over the yearsGem has turned inward while friends and popularity come easily for her sisterso it wont be easy. Zarr (The Lucy Variations) movingly explores the effects of neglect on two vulnerable girls relearning how to trust, as they decamp to hotels and a nearby island in an attempt to give themselves a respite from their day-to-day lives. Readers hearts will ache for Gem, who so desperately wants to follow a different path than her parents, as she tries to carve out a better life for herself and her sister. Ages 14up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Apr.)

 
BookPage Reviews

Between me and my sister

BookPage Teen Top Pick, April 2017

Sisters Gem and Dixie only have each other. Their parents’ marriage ended when their drug and alcohol addictions made it difficult to hold down jobs, let alone raise a family. However, when the girls are in high school, Dixie receives a letter from their dad, who wants back in their life. Dixie, younger and still easily charmed by their father, falls for it, but Gem isn’t fooled. Their father arrives, certain that their mother will take him back. But she kicks him out again—after he stows his backpack full of money in the girls’ room. Upon discovering the backpack and its contents, the girls take their own adventure, leading them to realizations about themselves and each other.

Sara Zarr returns with one of her most heartfelt books yet. Gem & Dixie packs a real punch, highlighting the ugly truth of severed relationships and the loneliness of a broken home. She examines the inner workings of a sibling relationship that was once close but grows more and more distant. Gem is a particularly strong character; she struggles with her belief that it’s her sole responsibility to ensure that the family doesn’t fall apart. At Gem’s core is the fear of abandonment, whether by her own will or by her parents. Meanwhile, will Dixie ever fully understand her parents, and will Gem ever forgive them?

Other characters are equally rich in depth, each contributing to Gem and Dixie’s adventure, including a transgender girl who befriends Gem, and the school guidance counselor who helps Gem unpack her feelings.

Intense, honest and at times heartbreaking, Gem & Dixie can be hard to read. Zarr sheds light on the life of a teen who doesn’t have it all and is struggling to grasp what she has left. Tackling trust, honesty, faith and hope, this novel is sure to strike a chord with readers coming from similar situations.

This article was originally published in the April 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews