Don't Fail Me Now

Michelleand her little siblings Cass and Denny are African American and living on the poverty line in urban Balti, struggling to keep it together with their mom in jail and only Michelle s part time job at the Taco Bell to sustain them.Leahand her stepbrother Tim are white and middle class from suburban Maryland, with few worries beyond winning lacrosse games and gettiMichelleand her little siblings Cass and Denny are African American and living on the poverty line in urban Balti, struggling to keep it together with their mom in jail and only Michelle s part time job at the Taco Bell to sustain them.Leahand her stepbrother Tim are white and middle class from suburban Maryland, with few worries beyond winning lacrosse games and getting college applications in on time.Michelle and Leah only have one thing in common Buck Devereaux, the biological father who abandoned them when they were little.After news trickles back to them that Buck is dying, they make the uneasy decision to drive across country to his hospice in California Leah hopes for closure Michelle just wants to give him a piece of her mind.Five people in a failing, old station wagon, living off free samples at food courts across America, and the most pressing question on Michelle s mind is Who will break down first herself or the car All the signs tell her they won t make it But Michelle has heard that her whole life, and it s never stopped her before.
Don t Fail Me Now Michelleand her little siblings Cass and Denny are African American and living on the poverty line in urban Balti struggling to keep it together with their mom in jail and only Michelle s part time j

  • Title: Don't Fail Me Now
  • Author: Una LaMarche
  • ISBN: 9781595148179
  • Page: 337
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Don't Fail Me Now”

    1. Usually for road trip novels it's a hit or miss with me- actually to be completely honest, I'd forgotten I had checked this out until I saw it was the last day on my Overdrive rental. Better late than never, I supposed. As soon as I started, DON'T FAIL ME NOW consumed me. I loved Michelle's voice even if at times I thought she made an unjustly assumption. Cass & Denny made for a sweet addition of siblings & I felt the novel took a unique twist. The circumstances were predictable, but the [...]

    2. I was rooting for this book. But, in the end, I had one big problem and a bunch of small ones. I may have to spoil some stuff in order to talk about this. So, yeah, Here Be Spoilers.First, the stuff I like: love-makes-a-family theme, biracial protagonist, road trip, and both addiction and social class dealt with in an authentic, thoughtful way. And I LOVED the shaggy-dog ending. It's rare that a book has the courage to deny its protagonists the reconciliation with the piece of shit estranged par [...]

    3. Michelle, Cass and Denny find themselves in a sticky situation when their mother ends up in prison. The three of them are placed in a home where they are less than welcome, given many rules, and are even forced to pay rent. When Michelle learns that their biological father, who left them at a very young age, is dying, she takes it upon herself to contact their half-sister, Leah, who she’s never met. Together, along with Leah’s stepbrother, Tim, the group decides to take a cross-country road [...]

    4. Don’t Fail Me Now is a unique, diverse, moving road-trip novel chock full of interesting characters and all the feels. Forced into a terrible situation by their absentee mother, Michelle, Cass, and Denny (three African American children surviving on Michelle’s part time job at Taco Bell) join forces with their newly found half-sister Leah and her stepbrother Tim (white, middle-class, and taken care of) on a cross-country road trip to meet Buck, their dying father who left them years ago. Not [...]

    5. Trigger Warning: various slurs (ableism, homophobia, misogyny). The Adventures in Babysitting meets Shameless. The romantic road trip adventure for poor girls of color with daddy issue. It was a cute bit of contemporary ya with a nice romantic subplot. What I liked was how it's told from the perspective of a biracial black girl living below the poverty line. This is the kind of book I would have loved as a young teen (13-14). Sweet, funny, hopeful, but grounded enough to feel fairly realistic. Y [...]

    6. LaMarche, author of the super-great memoir Unabrow, returns with a young adult novel about teens living in Maryland. Michelle and Leah must overlook their different racial and economic backgrounds to come together over the thing they have in common: their father, Buck, who is dying. LaMarche writes a compassionate story of forgiveness and how privilege divides even those related by blood.Tune in to our weekly podcast dedicated to all things new books, All The Books: bookriot/category/all-the-

    7. [See the full review at thoughts and afterthoughts.] Rating: 2.5/5Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:– A road-trip book brimming with intersectionality/diversity– Slow-paced writing and feeling of being disengaged from the cast and their conflict made the experience a bit of a drag– Romance in this book is off-center of incest (not actually…but the half-sister’s brother is the interest)– Raises awareness to racial discrimination and microaggressions, economic disparity, [...]

    8. See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got for review via Vine.Diversity Rating: 5 – Diverse as FuckRacial-Ethnic: 5 (Michelle, Cass, and Denny are black/biracial; Leah and Tim are white and Michelle regularly makes them confront their privilege)QUILTBAG: 3 (Cass is a lesbian)Disability: 4 (Cass is diabetic, Denny probably has an undiagnosed behavior disorder)Intersectionality: 5 (Michelle, Cass, and Denny live in poverty/semi-poverty and there are many other intersecti [...]

    9. A realistic road trip book with a unique twist. Readers will be both inspired and moved by this novel. Don’t Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche has a perfect mix with its gripping plot line, plucky protagonist and so much diversity.The most fantastic thing about Don’t Fail Me Now is its plot. This is such an amazing road trip novel that follows Michelle, who meets her stepsister for the first time and learns that their father is dying. With very little cash and a beat-up station wagon, they travel [...]

    10. Most YA romance novels feature well-off suburban melodramatic teenagers as the main characters. Don't Fail Me Now is much more honest than that and the characters are easier to understand. On the brink of welfare, Michelle and her siblings rely on the small amount of money that their mom makes working at Taco Bell. Making ends meet isn't easy, but then she meets someone who'll listen.

    11. All of Una LaMarche’s books just got audiobook versions in September, coinciding with the release of Don’t Fail Me Now. I’d been curious about LaMarche’s books, but, since I didn’t have review copies, I’d not gotten around to trying any of them yet; I realize how pompous that sounds but my schedule is my schedule. As such, I was thrilled when they showed up in the Penguin Random House audiobook emails. First, I listened to Like No Other, which surprised me with its sweetness and inte [...]

    12. Thanks First-to-Read for this advanced readers copy of this lovely book Don't Fail Me Now, written by Una LaMarche. In exchange for this copy, I have promised a honest review.Don't' Fail Me Now tells the story of three near homeless kids who are struggling to find normalcy in the grimy streets of Baltimore. With a mom who is struggling to over come addiction, a father who is long gone, and a money hungry auntie, Michelle (the oldest) is forced to play the parent for herself & two younger sib [...]

    13. This is a mixed bag of a book. It's engaging with an outstanding voice in Michelle. LaMarche does a great job of offering a black girl growing up in a broken home, with a substance abusing mother, with little income, two siblings, and few opportunities for success. More, there were moments when I utterly related to Michelle and the serious thoughts and struggles she had about learning she could meet her stepsister -- the child born by a woman her father cheated on her mother for -- since this is [...]

    14. This and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic NerdACTUAL RATING: 3.5MY THOUGHTSI kind of picked up this book without even knowing what it was about. It ended up being a road trip book, which I actually love! This book, though, is more serious than more road trip books, which makes so much sense considering the subject matter. This book was still very enjoyable and I actually ended up liking this book.Michelle lives in poverty with her siblings and single mom, who happens to do drugs. When [...]

    15. Don't Fail Me Now was so cute and definitely not what I was expecting. GOOD stuff:• Michelle sounded like an actual smart & funny teen, instead of a middle-aged author's version of it.• Mistakes were made by aforementioned protagonist, and she learned from them and admitted she was wrong.• Although the author is white, she talked about systematic racism! Was definitely NOT expecting that after seeing her portrait on the back flap.• The main characters were complexT-GOOD stuff:• The [...]

    16. In just short of 300 pages, Una LaMarche manages to beautifully create a book filled with diversity, complex characters, witty dialogue, and a bittersweet story that will leave you turning page after page. I really loved Don’t Fail Me Now, and I had a hard time putting it down. Don’t let the cover or blurb fool you; this isn’t nearly as much as a lighthearted book as its made out to be. Sure, there were some fun moments here and there, but for the most part the story was pretty serious. Mi [...]

    17. What an emotional and complex read! Michelle was like a mother through this whole book and would do anything for her siblings. It infuriated me when she talked to her mom, and her mom accused her of not taking care of Cass and Denny. Like, you are there mother, where are you? O right, you're in jailInfuriating.I kind of assumed Michelle and Leah and all the others would grow close through the journey they took, but they sure did hit a lot of roadblocks. I didn't care for Buck Devereaux, but if i [...]

    18. Seventeen-year-old Michelle Devereux has been more like a mother to her thirteen-year-old sister, Cass, and six-year-old brother, Denny. She and Cass have the same father, but they haven't seen him in years. They also have a half-sister, Leah. They've never met her. Not until they find out their father is sick and they all, along with Leah's stepbrother, take a road trip from Baltimore to California.Michelle and company were heading to a destination, but it seemed more like they were runaways, o [...]

    19. Don’t Fail Me Now is a conventional story, but one not without emotion and quality. On one hand, it seems to fulfill the checklist of a YA book: Romance? Check. Road trip? Check. Family drama? Check. The premise itself is somewhat overdone: a group of different people from different backgrounds are forced by circumstance to be together as they slowly grow to respect and care for each other. From that description, much of the plot falls into place, as the novel lacks subtlety in its revelations [...]

    20. At first I was excited about a book that promised to address important issues of race and class privilege, but I was a little disappointed in the execution. It began well, but I found the characters somewhat flat, which I think reduced the discussion of hot issues from poignant to cliche. I hoped for more than that. The romance also lacked chemistry for me and the ending was unrealistically happily ever after, especially considering the author's emphasis on her character's emotional baggage whic [...]

    21. THIS IS A MUST READ! Michelle's mother gets thrown in jail.n. Her aunt is wanting her to pay $300 dollars just so Michelle and her younger siblings can have a place to stay. Not to mention, her deadbeat father left her family when she was 7 to go live with his secret family. Everything in Michelle's life has gone wrong, and she doesn't know how to fix it. All of a sudden, one night, a boy (Tim) comes and tells her that her father is dying and her long lost sister wants to meet her. Michelle deci [...]

    22. This is a typical YA novel that focuses on identity, family, and relationships. The plot moves, but unfortunately, I found it to often be boring and lacking innovative prose. The characters lacked depth, and I thought the author could have dug much deeper into the idea of white privilege. She told us that it existed, but didn't let us feel the race issues rise within the story. The relationships between the siblings and the romantic relationships also weren't as fleshed out as they could have be [...]

    23. Fairly unoriginal characters. And why is it that the person of color who is the protagonist that we root for always has to be an AP/honors student who is just having a tough time but would bloom if given the chance? Couldn't just once it be an average person of color who is worth saving because they are a person? Anyway, just my 2 cents. Some interesting nuggets but on the whole it's like they used the YA formula for creating a book.

    24. I got an advanced readers copy of this book from the rt book convention in Dallas. I was partially disappointed at the ending but also thought it was a good way to end everything. Overall I definitely enjoyed this book!

    25. Such a great book about family and race and class and just pulling together to survive despite the crap that life hands you. Michelle is such a memorable character, and even though she's fictional, I really hope things work out for her after the ending of the book.

    26. This was a smooth and entertaining read with a diverse mix of characters, most of whom act very believably the entire time. It's part road trip, part coming of age, part romance, part coping with death, and the list goes on. I enjoyed it much more than I expected.

    27. Michelle Deveraux, the unsung hero of DON’T FAIL ME NOW, has grit. And tenacity. And a resilience like no one I’ve ever met before, fictional or otherwise. Unfortunately, when we’re first introduced to Michelle, life just seems to be beating her up, one punch at a time. The last thing she needs is a half-sister from the other side of the tracks coming in search of her for a quest to find their shared dead beat dad, the very catalyst of her problems. There’s a chance, though, that this ro [...]

    28. For more, visit girlwithabookblog.wordpressDon’t Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche was absolutely fantastic! Add this book to your TBR list immediately!! I’ve been reading my fair share of YA books this season and hadn’t really enjoyed any of them to the point that I was beginning to think that I’d gotten too old and jaded to connect with the storylines. However, Don’t Fail Me Now proved my hypothesis completely wrong! This book is going to be a lot of things for a lot of people, but I’ll [...]

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