Book Review: Providence by Lisa Colozza Cocca

The eldest of ten children on a dirt-poor farm, Becky trudges through life as a full-time babysitter, trying to avoid her father's periodic violent rages. When the family's barn burns down, her father lays the blame on Becky, and her own mother tells her to run for it. Run she does, hopping into an empty freight car. There, in a duffel bag, Becky finds an abandoned baby girl, only hours old. After years of tending to her siblings, sixteen-year-old Becky knows just what a baby needs. This baby needs a mother. With no mother around, Becky decides, at least temporarily, this baby needs her. When Becky hops off the train in a small Georgia town, it's with baby "Georgia" in her arms. When she meets Rosie, an eccentric thrift-shop owner, who comes to value and love Becky as no one ever has, Becky rashly claims the baby as her own. Not everyone in town is as welcoming as Rosie, though. Many suspect Becky and her baby are not what they seem. Among the doubters is a beautiful, reclusive woman with her own terrible loss and a long history with Rosie. As Becky's life becomes entangled with the lives of the people in town, including a handsome boy who suspects Becky is hiding something from her past, she finds her secrets more difficult to keep. Becky should grab the baby and run, but her newfound home and job with Rosie have given Becky the family she's never known. Despite her guilt over leaving her mother alone, she is happy for the first time. But it's a happiness not meant to last. When the truth comes out, Becky has the biggest decision of her life to make. Should she run away again? Should she stay--and fight? Or lie? What does the future hold for Becky and Georgia? With a greatness of heart and a stubborn insistence on hope found in few novels of any genre, Providence proves that home is where you find it, love is an active verb, and family is more than just a word.

Release Date: March 18, 2014
Age Group: YA
Source: Review copy from publisher
Reviewed by: Madi B

I’ve read two books published by Merit Press and both weren’t very impressive.  I was so excited for this book (Because of the cover, you ask? Yes. Look at that thing. I DARE you to not get excited!) but overall it was a slight disappointment because it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t very good either. All you fans of a dynamic, moving, plot hear me when I say this is not the book for you. You know how sometimes in books like the Percy Jackson Series, you find yourself liking the calm just as much as you like the action? (If you’re the all action type just bear with me, I have a point to make.) This whole book was the calm. There was nothing that put me on the edge of my seat, in fear OR anticipation. I was waiting for this huge-earth-shattering conflict to make up for the lack of conflict in the story. But when we got to the “conflict” it was so anti-climatic it was almost funny. (Ouch, sorry, that was a tad harsh) Let me sort this out with a good old pros and cons list.
Let’s start with the negative.
1.      Becky. I have to say, I was not that impressed. She didn’t have much…anything. If Becky was a grammatical construction, she’d be passive voice. She needed more of a personality! Sure she was shy but shy isn’t the only thing that defines a person!
2.      John. In the summary it mentions a “handsome boy” (Oh no! I told you his name is John!! Bring out the cannons!!!) When I read this, my inner fangirl was thinking “Yessss! Come closer handsome boy, you have a Becky to meet!” I felt like the love story was put on the back burner the whole book. THE BACK BURNER!!! Fangirl me was not happy. Look, it a YA book! Give me ROMANCE! Not this whole awkward  as crap thing going on!!! Like they’d seriously (Sorry that was extremely teenager-y) be sitting in the car together and say two words. TWO WORDS!!! YOU’RE NOT IN MIDDLE SCHOOL! I could fit all of their conversation throughout the book on 2 pieces of paper. UNACCEPTABLE.
Good things!
1.      I love the whole baby premise. It was all very Rilla of Ingleside (That’s an Anne reference for all you non-Green-Gables-ers) I though it was all very sweet and Becky’s feelings for Georgia were her best trait.
2.      I loved Rosie. Now THAT lady has some spunk! She was easily the best character in the book. AND she has some great quotes that BEG to be highlighted!
Overall, this book wasn’t bad. It’s a good book to read after you read an emotionally exhausting book. (Not all books can be The Book Thief). Although I probably won’t remember the majority of this book, I don’t regret reading it.

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