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Estelle: Rosie and Skate by Beth Ann Bauman

Rosie and Skate by Beth Ann BaumanRosie and Skate by Beth Ann BaumanSparklejollytwinklejingley Holiday Winter Book Reviews
Publication Date: August 11, 2009
Publisher: Wendy Lamb
Pages: 224
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: Sisters, alcoholism, winter at the beach, New Jersey
Format read: Bought used hardcover after reading/reviewing Jersey Angel.

Summary: The summer folks have left the Boardwalk, and while Rosie and Skate embrace time without the crowds they are left to deal with an alcoholic dad in jail, first love, long distance relationships, and family.

It wasn’t until Hurricane Sandy hit and I was sitting home watching the devasting pictures of the Jersey Shore I love so much that I remembered I had Rosie and Skate to read. I dug through my bookcase, pulled out my used copy, turned it over and spotted a familar sight: the Ferris Wheel at the center of so many aftermath photos all fine and dandy. It kind of threw me for a loop.

So I started Rosie and Skate in hopes of preserving some of my own memories of Seaside Heights and off-season moments spent at the beach with my family for so many years.

Not only did Bauman succeed with teleporting me back, but she also gave me the complex and flushed out story I was looking for but failed to find in Jersey Angel. Rosie and Skate couldn’t be more different. In fact, it’s hard to believe they are sisters sometimes. Only a year apart, they don’t live in the same house since their father went to jail: Skate lives at her boyfriend’s house with his mom while he is at college and Rosie lives in their home with a cousin who has traveled up from Florida to stay with them.

Rosie takes her dad’s actions to heart, while Skate doesn’t want much to do with him. The tension you would assume to feel between these two because of their beliefs doesn’t divide them; instead it’s the fact that though close in age, they are in two different places in their lives. Skate is dealing with a long distance relationship with her boyfriend, who doubles as her best friend. And Rosie is more of a loner, going to group meetings with other people affected by alcoholism and not really bringing home a ton of friends.

Both girls deal with such raw issues — on top of everything with their dad, there’s the disconnect Skate feels from her college boyfriend and how it feels her world stops spinning because he’s not close by, and Rosie wondering if a boy will ever like her at all. Bauman made these two ladies so real without once overcompensating with language; the cadence of this story is so well-paced and so well-timed.

Somehow the sisters have to meet in the middle to strengthen an unbalanced family unit, and it’s surprising how this happens and how their relationships with others grow and change throughout the process. Skate needs to find some kind of understanding with her father, while Rosie needs to step back and not take responsibility for her father’s failings. Together, without much fanfare and without suffocating each other, the two manage to move forward.

It’s funny. For a book about sisters, Rosie and Skate don’t spend a lot of time together. Their independence from one another was really refreshing. I liked seeing these two sisters interally debate the situation with their father but also have to wade separate issues on their own.

P.S. For you diehard holiday fanatics (me! me!), there’s plenty of merriment to go around as well.

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December 29, 2012 - 10:41 pm

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - Oh my goodness gracious, Estelle!
My heart SWELLS with all of these feelings that I’m having right now about how much I want to read this book. I can’t even tell you how much I want to read it. I have to find it.

(YAY, I just checked and my library has a copy! YAY!)

December 27, 2012 - 4:54 am

VeganYANerds - Wonderful review, Estelle! I’m so glad this book was more of what you were expecting in a story about the Shore. I’ve had it on my to-read list for ages and I don’t even know why. The fact that it’s about sisters really appeals to me!

December 26, 2012 - 4:12 pm

Alexa Y. - Oh wow! This book sounds really great. I love that it’s about sisters, and I love how it features the both of them dealing with their own separate issues. It’s an intriguing book, and I definitely think I need to read this.

I’m glad it served as a nice reminder to you of the Jersey Shore. I’ve only been twice, but it made me sad too to see what happened after Sandy hit 🙁

December 26, 2012 - 1:21 pm

elena - aww i’m so glad it brought out memories for you and proved to be a refreshing read. i love that they have similar issues (like with skate and her bf, rosie and wondering about her love live) yet remain their own person. great review!

December 26, 2012 - 11:18 am

Hollie @ Music, Books and Tea - I hadn’t heard of this one before I saw your review, but you’ve made me want to hunt out a copy of it! I love that this doesn’t seem to be a typical sibling book where they spend all their time together too, and that it seems to deal with some tough issues too. Great review! 🙂

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