Monday, June 16, 2014

Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose by Gillian McCain & Legs McNeil

It's really hard to critic the diary of a girl who has died, but that's what I have to do in order to review Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose by Gillian McCain & Legs McNeil. Dear Nobody is the story of Mary Rose, collected from her diaries (although the entries are not dated, nor is the book all of her writing). Mary Rose is a teenage girl with drug and alcohol addictions, as well as cystic fibrosis. Her home life includes a neglectful mother who often has an abusive boyfriend. Basically, things are so horrible, it would be hard to believe if it wasn't the truth.

This is a real story, and Mary Rose isn't perfect either. She claims to love somebody, but often treats them horribly. She treats herself horribly. Awful things happen to her, but she also does awful things, and that's what makes it feel so real. This isn't a happy story, from the beginning, from the back of the book, that is immediately clear. This is the sort of storyline that would not be out of place in an Ellen Hopkins novel, but even without that thread of hope her stories usually provide.

As heartbreaking as Dear Nobody is, there were still a few things that bothered me about the book. Mary Rose writes a bunch of letters to another character that isn't really included in the book, so it's unclear who she really is and if she wrote back or not. Mary Rose is spilling her guts to her, and I know this is her story, but some context would have been useful. Also, likely because this is a diary, it was confusing and unclear at times, and despite being revealed absolutely everywhere I have read about this book, cystic fibrosis is seem as some kind of secret, which I found to be confusing. Dear Nobody is an unedited diary, and while that sometimes means it is confusing, ultimately it is also what makes it so heartbreaking and real.

Release Date: April 1st 2014 Pages: 330  Format: ARC
Source: Publisher  Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire  Buy It: Book Depository

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