March 13, 2014
The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy
by Jill MacLean
A companion story to The Nine Lives of Travis Keating, with Prinny Murphy as the narrator. Prinny has a lot to deal with in her life. There's her conflicting emotions about her mother, who can't stop drinking, her father, who rarely pays much attention to her, and her best friend, Travis, who's become friendly with Laice, the new girl in town. Even worse, she's being blackmailed by the Shrikes, a gang of girls who've been tormenting her all year.
As Prinny struggles with all these issues, she gains strength from a novel called Make Lemonade. Reading isn't easy for Prinny, but she likes the book because it's written in verse and because she likes the main character, LaVaughn, who has a hard life too.
Prinny's story is often raw and searing, with its realistic depiction of bullying and its attendant fear and humiliation, and the damage caused by people's flaws and secrets. Yet Prinny learns that there's still a lot of good in the world if she gives it a chance.