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Fact of Life #31 by Denise Vega

June 10th, 2008 (06:26 am)
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Current Mood: full
Current Song: Makeover by David Cook

Fact of Life #31 is a story about mothers and daughters. It's about midwives and classmates. It's about yoga and art. It's about crushes and feeling crushed. It's about breaking apart and coming back together. In her second novel, Denise Vega delivers a thoughtful, realistic story about friendships, families, firsts, and fresh starts.

High school junior Kat describes her mother, Abra, as "the best home birth midwife in the Rocky Mountain region." Kat works in her mother's office as a receptionist, where she loves setting up playlists for the births and has a great connection with expectant parents, but finds herself uncomfortable and embarrassed during actual births. Her mom embarrasses her as well, but for different reasons. Though Kat respects what her mother is and what she does, she doesn't want her classmates to know about it. The only person who knows of Abra's profession is Kat's best friend, Christy, who has a nose for news and a fondness for funky hats.

Kat is a self-motivated girl with a busy schedule. In addition to working for her mom, she's also training for an upcoming triathlon. At home, Kat checks in with her nine-year-old sister Lucy, chats with her dad, and paints murals when the mood strikes her. At school, she does yoga in the hallway in order to center herself. She starts seeing her long-time crush Manny and is more than a little startled to see someone she knows walk into her workplace.

Abra gives Kat an old notebook from when she was a doula, first studying midwifery. Kat starts to fill a new notebook with her own "facts," such as "Fact of Life #87: People often believe what they want to believe." When she and Abra start clashing more and more often, Kat wants to stop working at the office altogether. An unexpected fight with Christy and ups-and-downs with Manny leave Kat wondering who she is supposed to believe and if she can ever make things right.

Just what is Fact of Life #31? You'll have to read the book to find out!

Read my interview with Denise Vega.

Read my review of Rock On: A Story of Guitars, Gigs, Girls, and a Brother (Not Necessarily in That Order) by Denise Vega.