By Hillary K. Grigonis
Release Date: February 24, 2014
Audience: Preteen and young teenagers
Format: Paperback and eBook
“Sometimes, my mind is a kaleidoscope. Somewhere, buried beneath a hundred different
swirling colors, is the original image, but as you turn the dial, the original meshes with
colors and becomes something completely different.”
Description: Jadyn’s world twirls out of control after her mother dies in a car accident and her forgetful Great-Aunt Nadine moves in. Her dad is never home and her best friend doesn’t even know half of it. Jadyn is trying to keep it all together for her little brother, Trenton. But when Aunt Nadine disappears with Trenton in the middle of a snowstorm, Jadyn may be the only one who can find them. Kaleidoscope Me is an exciting novel about family, friendship and faith with a unique, non-linear style.
Author Bio: When she isn’t writing, Hillary K. Grigonis can usually be found with a camera in hand. She lives in Mid-Michigan with her husband and young son, where she collects old film cameras that probably don’t even work and spends way too much time online. She started writing Kaleidoscope Me while attending college. Go ahead, look her up on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ and check out http://www.hillarykgrigonis.com.
For more information, including an excerpt and downloadable media resources, visit http://www.hillarykgrigonis.com. Follow Hillary K. Grigonis at facebook.com/hillarykgrigonis and Twitter, @HillaryGrigonis.
The “non-linear style” part of the description really made me want to read this book. I love learning about characters through flashbacks interwoven into present-day and Kaleidoscope Me is chock-full of them. The main character, Jadyn, while very young and in need of visits to the “attention doctor” is doing her best to find her brother and deal with the grief of losing her mother and gaining and becoming caretaker to her aunt. At first, following her stream of thoughts was confusing but after a few pages, you begin to see why the story is so non-linear. We’re following Jadyn’s thoughts or disasters as her oh-so-distant father would like to call them as they happen and as someone who has spent time working with much younger children with ADHD, Kaleidoscope Me is very true to form. She jumps from the present to the past and back again and it’s admirable how Grigonis was able to keep Jadyn’s thought process in flux and yet not take away from the story. Jadyn may not be able to focus but she is resilient and determined to find her brother and Aunt Nadine.
Usually, I find that I’m drawn to the supporting characters in a book but it was hard to connect with any of them as Jadyn’s current thoughts or flashbacks don’t linger on any one character for too long and we only see them through her eyes. The exception to that rule, would likely be Aunt Nadine, the unlikely sitter that Jadyn doesn’t want around or feel she needs. She pops up in many flashbacks and while not to blame for her forgetfulness, I couldn’t help but sympathize with Jadyn for having to take on an adult role.
I give Kaleidoscope Me 4 stars.