Title: Gem & Dixie
Author: Sara Zarr
Format Read: Audiobook
Rating: 2.5 Stars
Sisters Gem and Dixie don’t have a lot. They live in a small, run down apartment with their checked out mom. When there is food, there isn’t enough of it. And even though Dixie always manages to find a way to buy food and clothing for herself, Gem doesn’t possess the same talents. She relies on asking people to borrow money, and thrifting when she does need something new.
But the one thing that they’ve always had is each other. Gem can’t remember a time when they weren’t close, when they didn’t take care of each other. Even though they are opposites and sometimes argue, they’ve got each other’s backs.
That is until their absentee father shows up. And with him a bag full of money. Literally. Gem and Dixie have never seen so much in their lives.
This money could really help. It could fix all of their problems. But what would taking that money cost them?
What Didn’t Work:
Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr was not my favorite. I wanted to love it, but found that in the end I had too many issues with it. Issues that I just couldn’t love.
Main characters Gem and Dixie were the main issue for me. Even though they were fleshed out, and authentically realistic, I personally found that they weren’t likable. Because of that I found it hard to relate to and sympathize for them. Even though I didn’t love these characters, I can easily say that I appreciated the growth I saw in them throughout the book.
While I could put aside my dislike of Gem and Dixie, there was one other aspect I just couldn’t get past. And that’s the plot. Like most books there was a problem and by the end, a solution to said problem. In the case of Gem & Dixie, I feel that not a lot happened. Sure there was a problem, but there wasn’t a solution. The whole plot fell flat.
What Did Work:
The main selling point of Gem & Dixie is author Sara Zarr’s writing. She is a master of her craft. The writing is strong and concise. She doesn’t waste words, and because of that the book’s pacing is spot on.
But above all else, what I enjoyed about this book was the sense of hope I felt as I read. I was hopeful that the characters would grow, hopeful that everything would work our in the end.
Yes, because I firmly believe that, even though this book wasn’t for me, that you, dear readers, should give it a shot. You may love it.
Similar Books to Read After:
- Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
- We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
- Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
(Book cover image from GoodReads)