For the first time in her life, Ginny Moon has found her “forever home”—a place where she’ll be safe and protected, with a family that will love and nurture her. It’s exactly the kind of home that all foster kids are hoping for. So why is this 14-year-old so desperate to get kidnapped by her abusive, drug-addict birth mother, Gloria, and return to a grim existence of hiding under the kitchen sink to avoid the authorities and her mother’s violent boyfriends?
While Ginny is pretty much your average teenager—she plays the flute in the school band, has weekly basketball practice and studies Robert Frost poems for English class—she is autistic. And so what’s important to Ginny includes starting every day with exactly nine grapes for breakfast, Michael Jackson, bacon-pineapple pizza and, most of all, getting back to Gloria so she can take care of her baby doll.
Disclaimers: We received this book in the form of a physical ARC courtesy of the publisher (Park Row Books) This review may contain some things you consider to be spoilers. You have been warned.
Why we chose it: We can’t remember.
Review: The Original Ginny Moon was the first physical arc that we’ve ever received and it was probably one of the greatest books we’ve ever read. This book is not about a girl who has autism, it’s a book about a girl who’s had a really tough life who just happens to have autism. So much happens in this book that to just focus on the autism would do a disservice to the wonderful character that is Ginny.
She is kind and caring and resourceful and at time the funniest person on earth. Being inside her head was an absolute gift and before we even really get to discussing this novel we need to tell you that when we read the very last page the only thing we could possibly think to be disappointed about was the fact that there wasn’t a hundred more pages to read.
Ginny Moon is not a girl that leaves your mind easily. Or at all.
At approximately 4:23 in the afternoon on Saturday the fifteenth of October we started typing this review about a girl who lives in the Blue House with her Forever Mom and her Forever Dad. This review about a girl who spends time in Room Five, a girl who so desperately wants to get back to her Baby Doll, a girl who’s Birth Mom was far from the best and a girl who eats exactly nine grapes every morning at breakfast. This girl is our dear Ginny and we will forever support her bravery, her determination and her complete and utter uniqueness.
The real driving force in this book is Ginny’s desire to return to her Baby Doll and it influences her every action. She needs to make sure Gloria is feeding it and properly looking after it and so she sets a plan in motion. A plan which involves getting herself kidnapped and a whole bunch of other things that set our heart racing.
It was tough on us to see Ginny stressed or agitated or even angry, but it was interesting to see how the other characters in the novel reacted to her schemes and plans.
We really felt for her Forever Dad Brian because it was so obvious that he cared for her and only wanted the best for her. Their relationship was a strong one and we adored it. Ginny’s perspective on it all made her interactions with characters different to what we normally see in a novel.
We got to see how Patrice guided her and we got to see how absolutely terrible her Forever Mom Maura became at times. We hated her for a large section of the book and she came across so very cruel and melodramatic.
Accepting reality is a big struggle for Ginny and seeing the world as she did even if only for a few hundred pages was enlightening. What is life really like for people who understand the world differently? What is life like for someone who needs a set schedule to feel happy and calm? What is life really like for someone who’s had to grow up too fast because of unfortunate circumstances?
We don’t expect you to answer all our questions. In fact we don’t even expect you to answer one. We ask them not to receive some form of clarity, but to demonstrate that this book makes you open your eyes to new perspectives and we loved that about it.
To sum up, The Original Ginny Moon is extraordinary and more books should follow its example because a book such as this one is still considered to be out of the ordinary despite the fact that what’s written between the pages is something very real. It ended, not with glowing happiness, but with something that is far closer to reality. Something more hopeful 🙂
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