Monday, September 11, 2017

All About Middle Grade Review: Apartment 1986

Apartment 1986 by Lisa Papademetriou, April 11, 2017. 272 pages. Published by HarperCollins. Source: Publisher.
Callie never meant to let it go this far. Sure, she may have accidentally-on-purpose skipped a day at her fancy New York City prep school, but she never thought she’d skip the day after that! And the one after that . . . and . . . uh . . . the one after that.

But when everything in your real life is going wrong (fighting parents! bullied little brother! girls at school who just. don’t. get. it!) skipping school starts to look like a valid mental-health strategy. And when Callie runs into Cassius, a mysterious and prickly “unschooled” kid doing research at museums all across the city, it seems only natural for her to join him. Because museums are educational, which means they’re as good as going to class. Right?

Besides, school can wait. What can’t wait is the mystery of why her grandmother seems to wish she could travel back in time to 1986, or what she wants so much to relive there. As Cassius helps Callie see the world in a whole new light, she realizes that the people she loves are far from perfect—and that some family secrets shouldn’t be secret at all.
First Sentence
I am beginning to think that maybe I will be a philosopher when I grow up.

I'll give it to you straight, I did not enjoy this one as much as I was hoping to. In fact, I very nearly DNF'd it pretty early on; the only reason I saw it through to the end was that the side character's story that kept me around.
  • While I gather my thoughts on why Apartment 1986 was more of a bust than anything, I'll tell you what I did like about it. There is only one reason, or should I say character, that kept me reading till the very end-Cassius. From his personal story, and the reason he's "unschooled", made him not only an interesting character but also one with more depth than all the rest. I cannot tell you too much about his story as it would spoil the best part of the book. Just know that Cassius' story makes the book worth reading.
  • As much as I enjoyed Cassius' character and role within the story, my feelings on Callie are completely opposite. I really wanted to like her since she attempted to remain positive in all situations, but instead of being positive she was actually avoiding the whole situation, not only with her family but with her grades. Yeah, sure it can be difficult to accept hard times, but her forced positivity just made me sad for her. But what really bothered me was that the story lacked any true progression for her working through these feelings, it was more of a "bam" everything all better kind of thing. The whole thing felt like a disservice to Callie's character and the overall story.  
  • With the exception of a few details, I was not satisfied with the writing nor the overall story. The premise made it sound like there was going to be more to the story; 90% of it just fell completely flat. It just lacked finesse. 
Final Verdict: Apartment 1986- It's not a good when the side character steals the show. 

Apartment 1986 earns

A copy of this book was received for review consideration. All thoughts are my own.

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