Title: The History of Hilary Hambrushina
Author: Marnie Lamb
Pages: 200 Pages
Publisher: Iguana Books
Hilary has one goal for her first year in junior high: to become popular. But her plans are turned upside down when her best friend leaves for the summer and a quirky girl named Kallie moves in next door. Kallie paints constellations on her ceiling, sleeps in a hammock, and enacts fantastical plays in front of cute boys on the beach. Yet despite Kallie’s lack of interest in being “cool,” Hilary and Kallie find themselves becoming friends. That summer friendship, however, is put to the test when school begins, reigniting Hilary’s obsession with climbing the social ladder. As Hilary discovers the dark side to popularity, she must decide who she wants to be before she loses everything.
The History is Hilary Hambrushina is a coming of age story about figuring out who you are and embracing it. It is a story that has been told many times before an unfortunately for me the story wasn’t told very well.
Actually, that is probably a bit harsh. The writing is good. Marnie Lamb’s writing is not the issue. I think for me the issue is that this same story has been told better. It is told in a too twee fashion. I also think that because I work with young adults that the presentation of friendship groups falling out that The History of Hilary Hambrushina doesn’t deliver on the emotional turmoil that comes with loving your friends.
I felt like the overall message was too flowery – Just be yourself and everything will be fine. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about finding your tribe but Marnie Lamb’s novel just seemed far too neat, tidy and times unrealistic.
The History of Hilary Hambrushina by Marnie Lamb is available now.
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