Violet is happy with things just the way they are in her sleepy, backwoods Florida town. She loves going to the fish fry with her best friend Lottie, and collecting Brain Freeze cups with her good friend Eddie. She loves squeezing into the open trunk of the old cypress tree, looking for alligators in the river, and witnessing lightning storms on a warm summer day. But when Melissa moves to town from big city Detroit, all of a sudden Violet's supposed to want to wear makeup, and talk about boys, and play Truth or Dare. Violet's not interested in any of those things . . . but with the help of her friends, her mama, a few run-ins with lightning, and maybe even Melissa, Violet finds that growing up doesn't have to mean changing who you are. Violet's story is a classic tale of best friends, budding romance, and bad storms, and her authentic, pitch-perfect voice is sure to stay with readers long after the very last page.
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Danette Haworth held a number of writing jobs before turning to fiction, including positions as a technical writer and a travel writer. Growing up in a military family, Danette lived up and down the East Coast and in Turkey and England; she now calls Orlando, Florida, her home. Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning is her first novel. Visit Danette at www.danettehaworth.com or www.violetraines.com.Review:
When you've lived in the same sleepy town your whole life, you get real comfortable. As comfortable as a favorite pair of old shoes that you've broken in good. And that's just the way Violet Raines feels about Mitchell Hammock, Florida. What's the point in a new pair of shoes that'll just blister your feet?
It's the summer before junior high and Violet looks forward to spending lazy days with her best friend, Lottie, and feeding the fish under the old net bridge with Eddie. And on scorching hot days, the three like to collect cups for a free BrainFreeze at the gas station nearby. Since they live in Florida, they get to do that a lot.
Then Melissa moves to Mitchell Hammock from Detroit, with her big city ideas and her highfalutin ways, and the atmosphere between her and Violet becomes charged with friction as quickly as the sudden downpour in a summer thunderstorm. Florida is the lightening capital of the world, and by the end of the summer, Violet has been burned more than once and has also managed to hurt both of her friends.
Somehow, Violet has to figure out how to repair the damage she's done to both Lottie and Eddie, even if it means including Melissa. In the process, she just might find out that it's fun to try on that new pair of shoes, and that, in time, they can become just as comfortable as the favorite pair you've worn forever.
Danette Haworth has crafted a beautifully written, pleasurable read. In VIOLET RAINES ALMOST GOT STRUCK BY LIGHTNING, Violet's spunky, blustery voice is a terrific contrast to her sweet, gentle soul. There is something about Violet that reminds me of Opal in Kate DiCamillo's BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE. I rarely read a book more than once, yet as I flipped back through the pages to write this review, I found myself caught up in reading it again.
This is one of the many reasons that I am awarding VIOLET RAINES ALMOST GOT STRUCK BY LIGHTNING a Gold Star. Don't miss this one! TeensReadToo
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