Somebody’s Baby by Lurlene McDaniel
Winning a reality TV singing contest changes the course of Sloane Gabriel’s life from her abused childhood to a music career complete with a manager, recording contract, and touring schedule. But it’s never easy to leave your past behind, especially when your new notoriety introduces you to a woman dying of cancer who claims to be your half-sister. Thus, begins Sloane’s journey not only into the sufferings of her past, but through them into a present where she finds forgiveness, peace, and the love she never had.
I enjoyed many aspects of this novel, but especially Sloane, who is an amazing character—a combination of strength and fragility. McDaniel nails the character’s complexity, treating her with compassion and respect, which is especially important with Sloane, a character in a previous McDaniel novel*, who made very difficult choices and now has to deal with the fallout. Over the course of the novel, the reader sees Sloane develop and grow, and you can’t help rooting for Sloane as her suffering and circumstances change her into a person who can love and care for others.
The plotting of the novel was excellent—there was never a section where I was bored or wanted to put the novel down. And all of the action propelled the novel and helped to develop the characters. The writing itself was very clean, the author never intrudes on the story—it’s always about Sloane and the people in her life.
In the end, I have to agree with the Bustle.com review, which says, “Sorry, John Green fans, but McDaniel’s been making us cry . . . for decades.” —Bustle.com
That says it all. Five star YA novel!