Escaping the Mirror by Emily P. DeLoach
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Length: Full Length (181 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Rose
When her mom abandoned the family, Evelyn Crayley was left with an alcoholic father, a drug-dealing older brother and the nickname “Evil.” Starting fights at school and getting high do little to ebb the rage welling inside. Her brother, Jim, does his best to protect her from their violent father, but Evil still feels helpless, doomed to live the same kind of white trash life she and her family have always known.
That summer everything changes: her father’s abuse spurs Evil to run away from home, and her budding romance with Jim’s best friend, Dopey, damages her relationship with the brother she depended on. When she is forced to return home again, will Evil’s secrets destroy her? Or will she finally learn that the girl in the mirror can take control of her future?
Don’t pick up this book expecting a light, fluffy paranormal sparkly vampires kind of book. It’s about real kids with real serious problems. It made my heart break (and be very thankful for my own family) to see the things these kids go through.
From the drug use (they smoke pot the way my friends and I drank Coke) to the abuse they suffer, these teens are from a lifestyle I personally was blessed to avoid. But, this author does an amazing job of making it real to the reader. I was right there with them as they try to escape their problems.
Evelyn, “Evil”, had strikes against her from the time she was born. Her mother, in a psychotic episode, tries to kill her–an event witnessed by her brother Jim. From that day on, Jim is Evil’s protector–from everything, but he tries especially to protect her from their father. Unfortunately, his “protection” leads her to a state of dependency as she turns to him for everything.
This is a very character-driven book and I really came to care for Evil, Jim, and Dopey (Jim’s best friend). The young people have to come to grips with who they are, what their relationships are, and how to adjust to the changes that are going on around them and within them.
Kudos, Ms. DeLoach, for a book reminiscent of my generation’s Judy Blume books… books that did not shy away from real life and real life problems.