Before, after, and Somebody in Between

( 9 )

Overview

One hour into her first day of tenth grade, Martha Kowalski knows she’s really in trouble. The school bully, Chardonnay, has already threatened her life—and at home, things are even worse. Martha’s mom, fresh out of rehab, is shacking up with a total jerk in a run-down two-family in the ghetto.

More than anything she’s ever wanted, Martha wants to play the cello. But even music becomes a danger—because nothing is what it seems in this place. ...

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Overview

One hour into her first day of tenth grade, Martha Kowalski knows she’s really in trouble. The school bully, Chardonnay, has already threatened her life—and at home, things are even worse. Martha’s mom, fresh out of rehab, is shacking up with a total jerk in a run-down two-family in the ghetto.

More than anything she’s ever wanted, Martha wants to play the cello. But even music becomes a danger—because nothing is what it seems in this place. With her mother’s willpower dissolving, Martha watches helplessly as her own dreams slip farther away.

But in an exhilarating twist that would stun even Cinderella, everything changes. A wealthy lawyer invites her into his family’s home, and Martha is given a chance to start over. The warm, caring Brinkmans treat Martha like one of the family, and even though it feels so right, she knows they can’t be as perfect as they seem. And she knows this fairy tale can’t last forever . . .

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599902920
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 795,117
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeannine Garsee began writing even before she learned to read, drawing pictures in sequence until they told a story. Once she learned to write, she added captions; she eventually gave up drawing when she received a typewriter for her thirteenth birthday.

An avid people watcher, Garsee says she gets her ideas everywhere. About her writing, she says, “Everything and everyone around me has the potential to become part of the story.”

Her work as a nurse gave her much of the inspiration for Martha’s character. She says she often deals with people in desperate situations, and wonders what chance their children have of ever leading happy, productive lives. She lives outside of Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband, two teenagers, and a fifteen-year-old tabby cat named Max.

www.jeanninegarsee.com

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Dena Landon for TeensReadToo.com

    When Martha's mom gets out of rehab and drags Martha to live with her latest boyfriend it's nothing new. Ever since her father's death, Martha's life has been a string of moving from place to place, constantly watching out for her mom. But this time the new boyfriend lives in a part of town where 'white girls don't belong,' as her classmates at school have no problem telling her. Martha is plunged into a world of gang violence and drugs, metal detectors at school, threats from other students, and violence at home. But she still manages to make a few friends at school and with the family that lives upstairs. And when she signs up for orchestra and discovers the joy of playing the cello, she thinks things might have finally turned around. <BR/><BR/>Until an act of violence sends everything spiraling out of control. <BR/><BR/>BEFORE, AFTER, AND SOMEBODY IN BETWEEN is a gritty and realistic tale of a girl trying to escape her parent's poor choices and make a life for herself. Told unflinchingly in the first person, Garsee doesn't hesitate from portraying teen violence, sex, and drug and alcohol use as the traps that they can be, but she does so with gentle humor and a compassionate eye. Martha is a flawed heroine, coming to terms with her own faults and the addictive tendencies she may have inherited from her mother, but readers will root for her to succeed. This book is not a light-hearted tale, and at times the string of bad events can feel unrelenting, but Garsee shows the bright spots to be found in even the deepest tragedies. <BR/><BR/>Recommended for older readers only. Contains drug and alcohol use, sex, and profanity.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2013

    Wasnt my favorite

    I dont know, it was just way too depressing. Nothing got better for the main character, in fact it just got worse. My favorite character turned out to be a real jerk, the mother never got nicer, and it really made me depressed.
    And i know that most books make life sound a lot better than it really is, but this was just taking it too far.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2012

    Great book

    This was a great book. I read it in seventh grade (not FOR seventh grade!) and liked it alot. But it was pretty sexually explicit. I didnt mind that, but still. I like to read books like that. I dont care if theres sex or swearin or drugs. Wgaf?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2009

    Don't Bother

    I regret picking up this book. The main character did not grow throughout the story at all. In the beginning all Martha worried about was materialistic things and becoming someone else. She gets two these things: A new identity, a new life. But while living her new life she tries to block out the people who really ever cared for her. Martha ignores them when they need her most. Throughout the book Martha acts selfishly again and again and to the very last page I felt like she hadn't matured at all. It was a very dissapointing read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2008

    A reviewer

    i thought this book was amazing and how she survived it all and everything she went through i really hope anyone to read this book enjoys it as much as i did

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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