CM . . .
. Volume XVI Number 4. . . .September 25, 2009
On the surface, Robin’s life seems perfect. She lives in a beautiful home and has the money for anything she wants because her mother is Mimi Schwartz, the host of a very popular television talk show. But Robin’s favourite pastimes are eating junk food and watching endless reruns of her mother’s show. Totally by chance, Robin finds an old high school ring and a photograph, apparently hidden by her mom, which raise questions about just who her mother really is and how she became such a success in New York if her origins were truly in Port Minton, NS. The discovery brings Robin out of her seemingly self-induced stupor and propels her to look for answers in a tiny Canadian fishing village.
Like much young adult fiction, this is a coming-of-age novel in which the main character finds out who she is, both literally and figuratively. Despite the difficulties in this process, Robin perseveres and eventually comes to improved self-awareness and self-esteem. She accepts herself as she is. However, Vicki Grant adds many layers to her well thought out plot, and there are just enough complications and unexpected turns to keep any reader happy.
Not Suitable for Family Viewing is an excellent teen novel with interesting characters and a complex plot tinged with both romance and mystery. The whole is peppered with Grant’s wonderful sense of comedy. There are places in the book where I actually giggled out loud. The humour does not come from put-downs or “smartass” remarks but simply Robin’s own ability to laugh and to convey humour through her tongue-in-cheek descriptions of people, places and situations. Some of the fun also comes from the short descriptions of the contents of Mimi’s TV shows and the obvious fact that they are exactly the opposite of what is happening in the star’s real life. For instance, when Robin knows she has once again pushed Anita to the point of losing her temper and exploding, Robin’s comment is, “Despite what Mimi’s Thanksgiving Special might lead one to believe, this is as close to a family tradition as we get around here.” (pp. 5-6)
This novel may be entitled Not Suitable for Family Viewing, but it is definitely suitable for anyone to read and is virtually guaranteed to please!
Ann Ketcheson, a retired teacher-librarian and teacher of high school English and French, lives in Ottawa, ON, where she has turned her love of travel into a second career as a travel consultant.
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other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.