Teens Read Review by Emma

Defining Dulcie by Paul Acampora, is the story of 16 year-old Dulcie Morrigan, who, after her father dies in a fatal custodial accident, is dragged from Newbury, Connecticut to California. But when her mom threatens to sell the last piece of her father left, Dulcie hightails it back to her hometown in her dad’s old fire-engine-red Chevy to find some sanctuary in her grandfather. But when Dulcie’s grandfather’s new employee, Roxanne and Roxanne’s suspicious mother are added to the mix, you can tell Dulcie’s definitely not going to forget this summer.
I thought that Defining Dulcie was a wonderful family story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Dulcie and what she thought of the events around her. I liked that she is sarcastic and humorous, but you can see her sensitivity shine through her tough exterior.

“And yet Dad’s accidental demise fast-forwarded me into some kind of real-life-meets-Cartoon-Channel thrill ride, a crazy collection of episodes and moments that made me pause in front of small mirrors and whisper, ‘Dulcie, are you all right?’ The girl in the reflection usually answered, ‘I think so.’ But sometimes she’d say, 'Define 'all right''."

I also liked how the author made it seem that the only thing that was keeping the situation from falling apart was the tight family bond seen throughout the book.

“Frank wiped his hands on the back of his blue workpants, “It seems to me,” he said, “that the wind is blowing from west to east today Roxanne.” Then he turned to me and gave me a big smile. Before I knew what was happening, he wrapped me up in a huge Frank Morrigan hug. “And look what the wind blew in,” saidFrank, “Just look what the wind blew in."

Overall Defining Dulcie is a heartwarming story about how family is glue keeping all of life pieces together. At only 165 pages, this is a short read, perfect for those times during summer when you’re taking a break from the sand and away from your friends. Two thumbs up!

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