Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom – Susin Nielsen
Violet’s TV-director dad has traded a job in Vancouver for one in Los Angeles, their run-down house for a sleek ranch-style home complete with a pool, and, worst of all, Violet’s mother for a trophy wife, a blonde actress named Jennica. Violet’s younger sister reacts by bed-wetting, and her mother ping-pongs from one loser to another, searching for love. As for Violet, she gets angry in ways that are by turns infuriating, shocking, and hilarious.
When her mother takes up with the unfortunately named Dudley Wiener, Violet and her friend Phoebe decide that they need to take control. If Violet’s mom can’t pick a decent man herself, they will help her snag George Clooney.
So a few weeks ago, I was really into Susin Nielsen, right? Well, that train’s not slowing down anytime soon. I’m addicted (and now I’ve read literally everything she’s written, including a brand new manuscript, so I’m not sure what else I have to look for, unless I go hunting for her Degrassi novels?).
Of all her books, this was probably my least favourite, which is not to say I didn’t love it. I just like the nerdiness of Word Nerd, and the powerful message behind Henry K. Larsen a little bit more.
Violet is sassy and funny, while still being “real” and emotional. The opening scene has her tricking her half-sisters into eating…well, I don’t want to spoil it for you, but it involves cats and sandboxes-that-have-been-used-as-litterboxes. Disgusting and devious, but also pretty ingenious.
I think it was also realistic in terms of how the girls behaved in school, given their age (12). The mean girls, Ashley and Lauren, act exactly the way girls do at 12-13. Violet and Phoebe’s reactions are on point, and there’s never a feeling of “seriously, what real seventh grader would do this?”.
Sidenote: Ashley co-stars in Susin’s upcoming book, We Are All Made of Molecules, which comes out in May!
This has a bit of The Parent Trap-feel to it, but it wasn’t the old “get Mom and Dad back together” trope. The fact that Violet thinks GEORGE CLOONEY is the perfect option is hilarious and amazing and I totally believe she met him.
Also: Cosmo, Amanda, and Ambrose (from Word Nerd) all make a reappearance (and Karen, from Henry K. Larsen). I aww’d forever. Seriously, I love that all her characters are somehow connected.