The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

This one will haunt you. Bleak, depressing, and sadly, realistic look at the life of an impoverished “ghetto” family. Not a feel-good story, but so very well written.
Was this review helpful?
This was a very interesting read.  I didn't know if i would enjoy this book when I started it.  By the end I really enjoyed this book.  It will make a great addition to our library collection.
Was this review helpful?
Ramos hits home and hearts with this novel of a realistic teenager and the challenges she faces daily. Macy has troubles at home, at school, with her peers, and most importantly with herself. How she handles the everyday is something everyone must read!
Was this review helpful?

I have so many feelings about this book—some that are conflicting—but let me start out by saying that this is a wonderfully diverse novel. It focuses on many topics that I personally have not seen much, particularly in the world of young adult fiction. I found it very hard to collect my thoughts both during and after reading this story because of the quantity of thought-provoking material that is present. While my overall opinions on and experience with this novel were somewhat mixed, that in no way means that I did not truly enjoy reading it.

In this novel, we follow a fifteen-year-old girl named Macy, who is chronicling her life through entries in her own personal dictionary. Macy has...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
I liked the formatting of this book. It was written like reading dictionary entries (sort of). It was a fun different style that kept me interested. I was really drawn to the characters. I love how they were all flawed in some way or another. Highly recommend it.
Was this review helpful?

Does this story have a point? At 35% I don't see it yet. What is this Macy chick so angry about? Is there even a plot here? Why does she curse teachers off, throw chairs and tables and doesn't get expelled? Is this a school for crazy kids and I don't know about it?

Oh yes, Macy is crazy, disturbed, has attention deficit disorder, was born in jail, is poor, and has parents that are physically and mentally absent. So of course her life is shit. Is she doing anything to change that? No. On the contrary, she takes advantage of her "mentally disturbed" status to tell teachers to fuck off and get away with anything. I do not have a problem with cursing but I haven't...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
Cannot review as it is a debut novel and I am on the Morris Award committee for 2019. I am grateful to have a read through Netgalley.
Was this review helpful?

Disturbed is the right word. Macy. . .George. . .Alma. . .Yasmin. . .Zach. . . Even the fact that this is a personal "dictionary" that is sometimes sort of in alphabetical order and sometimes not is disturbing. The overwhelming need that these characters have for stability, compassion, love, clothing, shelter, food, sleep. . .disturbing ("see I for I don't want to talk about it).

Like Melinda in Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, and Samoana in Sia Figiel's Girl in the Moon Circle, Macy as the narrator is both too young for her age "cooties," and much too old. At some points, her street smarts and survival instincts show up as clarified rage, and at...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
At first I wasn't sure how I felt about the structure of the book, but it very quickly felt right, that this was the best way for Macy to tell her story. Macy is a strong character (or maybe I mean "memorable" more than "strong"?) dealing with the problems in her life the best she can - the drugs, her mother, her brother's needs, her BFFs, school, being disregarded and diminished at school, and her father's incarceration. There were times when the situation felt stereotypical, but the voice always felt authentic and as though there were no other way to tell this life.

ARC provided by publisher.
Was this review helpful?

Picture me sitting with a slack jaw upon finishing this book as I try to grapple with everything that I've just read. I had a slow start getting in to Macy's story because she references events that haven't yet happened and I was a little confused, but thing start to come together quickly. Ramos does a masterful job of leading the reader slowly into the darkness of Macy's life. We start with problems at school and her mother's many guests and Macy's ever-present hunger. I get the picture quickly that things are not good and that Macy is a mess - although it's equally obvious that Macy is much smarter than her teachers give her credit for. You can also...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

I was lucky enough to receive this ARC on Netgalley for review.  Based on the description alone I was hooked.  I'm always drawn by books that deal with difficult situations, especially if there's a hint of mental issues - wow that sounds weird... well I always find them interested.  If I'm being honest though, I couldn't finish this book.  As much as I wanted to enjoy it, I just couldn't.  I decided to DNF (did not finish) the book at 30% completion.  Let me explain.

Macy always felt angry and it's never truly explained why. I couldn't relate to her at all. Everything felt unimportant to her, either by her saying it was stupid or brushing it off. The...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
My opinion of this book was sort of all over the place. At first I didn't love it. The protagonist's voice seemed more gimmick than genuine. Once I got a few chapters in I began to see the brilliance, the intent behind the vocal habits. She wields a shield of ignorance. And those odd patterns soften somewhat as the plot progresses. It's a book that keeps you constantly on uneven footing. I never knew how much of the narrative to actually believe. Is it over-sensationalized writing of the protagonist's own fictionalization of her story. Very readable but worth a look as it pushes us to consider issues of race, class, and judgement.
Was this review helpful?
An emotional read that me hard. I know that I have taught students who's home lives are similar. 
One of those wonderful window/mirror books that everyone needs to read, especially teacher's with students with emotional/behavioural "coding". 
I had no issues with the grammar mistakes, language , I loved the authentic style of writing and the voice it gave Macy. I loved Macy, she was funny, quirky and real.
Was this review helpful?

"We like two hands of the same clock. Always connected. Sometimes in our own space, but we always meet. Nothing without each other. At least I'm nothing without her."

Macy Cashmere (last name: MYOFB) is as "at-risk" youth as they come-- She's a racial minority, lives in poverty, comes from a very broken home, and is living with an emotional behavioral disorder (or 'disturbed' as she and others term it). With the cards stacked against her, Macy's every day life is just a series of endure and survive and carry on.

When we meet Macy, she has many things intertwining together that are causing her life to become complicated. Macy's younger...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

I need to start out by saying I did not finish this book. Not because I didn't want to, but because I could not. The description of this book made it sound different than what was actually portrayed in the book and the writing style was all over the place, childish, and the story line was very choppy. While the cover was appealing and the description was interesting, the story didn't add up.

I tried hard to get into the groove of this book. Even after the first few chapters of wanting to put it down, I pushed through hoping the story would level out and it would become easier to read. It did not. I've read books that were in a diary type model, which this book is, but the...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

First off, thank you to the publisher for allowing me to read this book in order to give an honest review.

I have this novel 4 stars due to its creativity and style. I’ve never read another book like it, and I commend the author for trying something different in order to produce an authentic and sympathetic protagonist. Macy’s journey is heart-wrenching, and I appreciate the way the author portrays this very complex character through her day-to-day struggles and hardships.

With that being said, as an educator, I do not believe I could teach this novel in the classroom due to the language and subject matter. I think I would (unfortunately) get a lot of flack from parents who would not...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

I give this book 5 out of 5 Freakin Fantastic Stars! I am over the moon about this BOOK!



What attracted me to this book was the cover and the title, then I read the premise and was sold. This book meant more to me than pages in a book, I understood Macy. I was Macy.



I saw many reviews on this book and so many DNF this book because of the spelling and grammatical errors. I understand the need for proper grammer but this was about Macy expressing herself. I thought it was beautiful literature!
This was beyond realistic. When Macy battled Child Protective Services and dealt with all her raw and intense emotions, I was brought back to when I was considered the “disturbed” girl who didn’t...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
This starts as almost a comedy. It's not that Macy's life is particularly funny but she has an interesting way of viewing the world and she has this spirit that refuses to be defeated. (Even though her brother has been taken by CPS and her mom veers between neglectful and abusive; even though she only has two friends; even though even though even though.) 

Then things take a dark turn and this book goes from heroic to heartbreaking. 

This is a book that will stay with me and Macy is a character I will never forget.

Highly recommended but go in emotionally prepared.
Was this review helpful?
Macy's story broke my heart. I think this will be a book students will read and recommend to their friends.
Was this review helpful?