A Room on Lorelei Street by Mary E. Pearson

Classification:  YA Literature
Genre:  Realistic Fiction
Ages 14+
Subjects:  Self-discovery, family, independence

“She whispers it aloud, ‘Lorelei.’ the sound makes her ache, makes the word even more beautiful, even more real. ”  ~ from A Room on Lorelei Street

Summary:  Everything in Zoe Beth Buckman’s seventeen years has centered around her mother, and Zoe is ready to change that.  No longer willing to tidy up after her alcoholic, pill-popping parent, and refusing to give up any more of the money she has earned from her job to pay Mama’s debts, Zoe moves into a small room in a house owned by the eccentric and wise Opal Keats.  Finally, in a space of her own where she can just be,  Zoe revels in her new freedom…and struggles against the guilt she feels over leaving Mama.  With dark family secrets hovering over her, Zoe determinedly stretches every penny.  But independence comes with a price.  Soon Zoe must decide just how far she is willing to go to keep her room on Lorelei Street.

Notes:  Zoe is a striking character for her solitude and her maturity—truly a young adult protagonist with none of the frivolity of adolescence.  An all around good read that can be enjoyed snuggled up on a rainy day, or lounging on a beach towel on a sunny day. 
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