Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Rachel Cohn
Fiction  Series
For ages 14 and up
Simon and Schuster, 2003   ISBN: 068986020X

Cyd Charisse has an impressive track record for getting into trouble. She was expelled from the highbrow boarding school that she was sent to, and now she is going out with a boy that her mother and step father do not approve of. They don’t realize that this boyfriend, Shrimp, is a huge improvement on the last boy Cyd Charisse was seriously involved with when she was at the boarding school. That boy got Cyd Charisse pregnant and he did nothing to support her when she finally went to a family planning clinic. It is easy to understand why she is so angry and why her attitude is, shall we say, a little ‘out there.’

   One night Cyd Charisse takes things too far with her mother and her step father. First they ground Cyd Charisse in “Alcatraz,” her bedroom. When that turns out to be too unpleasant for everyone, they decide to send Cyd Charisse to New York to spend some time with her “real dad.” Cyd is delighted and full of expectations – which quickly fade away when she meets her biological father. He is not the “daddy” she was hoping he would be, and she has to readjust her thinking about…well almost everything.

   Cyd Charisse’s voice is incredibly compelling and often painfully honest. This story is not for the faint of heart because Cyd Charisse has been through a lot, and she is very up front with her anger and hurt. At the same time, the story is wonderfully fresh, and readers will have a hard time not falling for this coffee loving teen who is struggling to find her place in the world.