One Whole and Perfect Day by Judith Clarke. Honesdale, Pennsylvania: Front Street (An Imprint of Boyds Mills Press, Inc.), 2006. 250 pages.
1. A succinct evaluative annotation. Plot: [Conflict] Lily has an old spirit for such a young girl at age of 15: she takes care of the house chores because her mom is always working to pay the bills and her brother moved out of the house to go to school, so she really never has time for herself. [Rising Action] Lily wants one day where it is absolutely perfect, where she doesn’t have to worry about what to fix next in her family and can enjoy “one whole and perfect day”. [Climax] When Lily’s grandma decides to throw a party for her grandfather’s birthday, Lily thinks that it is a disaster in the making, but in the end, it was Lily’s one whole and perfect day. [Falling Action] There are many characters in this novel and by the end of the story, all of them have solved their personal problems and had a great time at Lily’s grandfather’s birthday party. [Resolution] In the end, Lily sees a future where she won’t be burdened by too much house hold events and will finally have a teen life, with the boy she had been crushing on for awhile. Theme: The themes in this novel include family, life, complications, love, friends, and happiness. Tone: The tone is actually quite comical in a serious manner. Lily thinks her life is doomed to be boring, an old maid routine and finds out that she was just overreacting. Style: The author’s writing style take a little bit getting used to. There are over five different main characters in this story and the author will alternate which chapter features which character. The farther the reader gets through the novel, the more the reader will understand the connections between the characters. Characterizations: Lily is very serious and old for her young age, always taking care of the house, bills, and groceries, among other things. At the end of the novel, though, she loosens up and starts to act like her age, enjoying the last few years of high school before she actually has to grow up. Readability: This was very, very easy to read. It’s a short novel and not very hard to read; I flew through it in a few hours.
2. My reactions to the book. This was a cute, very fast read novel. It wasn’t my favorite because I felt the author gave too much description on places and things that didn’t need describing and left out better details that could have made the novel better – more interactions with Lily and the boy she had a crush on; more details about Lily’s brother and his fiancée, events like that could have been improved. I can’t tell what is accurate or not in this novel – probably not too much since there was no mention from the author about real events occurring in this novel.
3. Comment on the cover art. The cover art of this novel was not the best. If it wasn’t on the list of Michael Printz Award books and the description didn’t sound interesting, I would not have picked up this book to read, solely because of the cover. There is nothing interesting about it, nothing that stands out and makes a viewer want to read it. It almost looks boring and after reading the novel, I can’t really understand why the cover artists would pick the cover that they did. There are many different characters that they could have featured on the cover, of different ethnicities, that would have worked better than the Chinese decorations hanging in the air. I definitely think that if there is another edition, the cover should be changed to something more interesting and attention grabber.