Review Blog

Oct 27 2011

Compromised by Heidi Ayarbe

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Harper Teen, 2010. ISBN 9780061728518.
(15+) The only certainty that teenager, Maya Sorenson, can count on is that life is unpredictable. The suicide of her mother has left a haunting sense of abandonment and having a con man for a Dad adds fuels to her feelings of insecurity. Maya is accustomed to packing her few possessions and fleeing in the night as her Dad tries to stay one step ahead of the law. She attempts to impose logic on her disordered world by applying scientific principles to the challenges she confronts but this time her father isn't quite fast enough. He is put in prison and Maya finds herself living on the streets while trying to trace the only relative who may be able to help.
This is a dark and confronting story that addresses a plethora of social problems and the harsh reality of street life. Maya is accompanied by two other vividly drawn characters on her journey. Nicole is a victim of domestic violence and abuse within her family and Klondike is a young boy who believes that his Tourette's Syndrome is evidence of demon possession. Drug and alcohol abuse, prostitution, violence and death are all issues that make up the fabric of this novel.
In this third book by Heidi Ayarbe she challenges the reader to see the sad and hurtful reality behind every story of homelessness. The random goodness of some people is contrasted with the mindless cruelty of others. It is not a sugar coated story and while it is a compelling read it is not for the faint hearted.
Tina Cain

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