Molasses - Kirsty Eagar This story was published alongside Ferragost, and in terms of style and content, a better companion work would have been hard to come by.

The author's style reminds me a lot of Melina Marchetta's. Like the aforementioned author, Kirsty Eagar deals with tough adolescent issues, and creates very sympathetic characters.

A quick synopsis. Amelia is going through a tough time. Her flaky mother is near criminal in her disregard for her own children, her step-father cares more about pigeons than his step-children (though that may be a good thing since he eats pigeons), and her brother barely won the battle against the Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Her friends, Megan and Trevor, and her brother Chris seem to be the only constants in Amelia's life. That is, until Megan starts crushing on Chris and forever changes the circle of friendship the four of them have formed.

The novella delves into Amelia coming to terms with these changes going on in her life, and she fortunately emerges, if not happy, at least victorious in the end.

So why only three stars? I liked the story, and would encourage other people to read it. However, the problems Amelia faced were amplified just a little too much, and there was a substantial lack of focus. A short novella adequately can't (and shouldn't) deal with issues of family, romance, graduation, formal/prom, finances, illness, and miracles all at once. Plus, the emotional abandonment of Amelia's and Chris's mother was shocking and a little unbelievable. I'm kind of surprised social services hadn't already dragged her ass away.

The saving grace of this story, what pulled it back from absurdity, was the fantastic writing.

Overall, THREE STARS. The story is short and reads fast, and it was a great palate cleanser. All in all, it made me curious about the rest of Kirsty Eagar's works so I guess the novella served its purpose. Recommended for fans of YA lit in the style of Melina Marchetta.