Review: Running Around (and such) by Linda Byler

This was the first time I’ve read an Amish book and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was surprised to find that except for scattered cultural references the story followed much the same path as any other book of its genre – the coming of age story of an adolescent girl.

Lizzie is fifteen and filled with all the same sorts of feelings any teenager has, but she’s also rebellious and willful – characteristics that go against the Amish belief system. She runs into trouble with family and friends and it’s usually of her own (however unintended) making. Some of the situations she gets into are funny and some not so much. But it is usually caused by Lizzie’s belief that she is not as loved as her older sister. I found the feelings she expressed to be honest and insightful. What I didn’t expect was this girl’s food issues. Her mother was always making something sweet and rich and while her sisters showed constraint, Lizzie was usually eating too much of it. Food disorders are a serious problem and I don’t feel I know enough about them to give an educated opinion about the presentation of this characters problems with food, but I had a gut reaction that her mother did not deal with it in the best possible way. Not sure though. Lizzie’s self-image is that she is overweight and not very pretty. I thought it a bit odd that on the cover of the book there is a picture of a very pretty and slim-looking girl with a wide smile. I’m assuming that’s Lizzie at a happy and self-confident moment!

Linda Byler has a simple, to-the-point writing style. In each chapter there is a flashback to a related current event and in this way the reader is taken through the character’s growing pains. I found the Amish lifestyle interesting (so very far removed from my own) and found the glossary at the back of the book useful. I think this would be a good book for any one who enjoys the coming-of-age genre and is tired of those that are the profane, serious mental health issue type books.


Laura at Library of Clean Reads on September 24, 2010 at 9:52 AM said...

I haven't read any Amish books either. This may be a good one for my daughter. We love coming-of-age stories.

Staci on September 24, 2010 at 9:15 PM said...

I have this one to read/review too. I adore Amish fiction!!!

Anonymous said...

I sometimes read Amish Fiction, might read.


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