Release Date: June 14, 2011
Publisher: MTV Books/Simon & Schuster
How can you make someone love you when they won’t? And what if that person happens to be your mother? Sayre Bellavia grew up knowing she was a mistake: unplanned and unwanted. At five months shy of eighteen, she’s become an expert in loneliness, heartache, and neglect. Her whole life she’s been cursed, used, and left behind. Swallowed a thousand tears and ignored a thousand deliberate cruelties. Sayre’s stuck by her mother through hell, tried to help her, be near her, be important to her even as her mother slipped away into a violent haze of addiction, destroying the only chance Sayre ever had for a real family. nNow her mother is lying in a hospital bed, near death, ravaged by her own destructive behavior. And as Sayre fights her way to her mother’s bedside, she is terrified but determined to get the answer to a question no one should ever have to ask: Did my mother ever really love me? And what will Sayre do if the answer is yes?
Ordinary Beauty really took me by surprise in the way of how many strong emotions it invoked from me. Sayre had a love interest, but the story was solely about Sayre's idea of love and how she dealt with her mother issues.
One thing that really touched me in this story was Sayre's ability to love other people even though she always felt unwanted and unloved. Her attitude is rare and many kids in her situation probably couldn't develop one as optimistic as hers.
Her mother, though well written, was unbelievably horrible - just saying. She made Sayre who she is, and at times I wondered what she really thought about life.
I broke down every time Sayre mentioned singing her "Ellie, Ellie" song. The way Laura Wiess wrote about Sayre's friendships and relationships, especially with Beale, was so passionate and heartfelt. I really appreciated delving into Sayre's memories and learning about her life and how her experiences carried with her through childhood.
I enjoyed reading this novel, which I had to read at home so people walking past me at school wouldn't think I was crazy for crying over a book, and Sayre is probably the strongest character I've had the privilege of reading about in while.
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