April 8, 2013

My Beautiful Hippie by Janet Nichols Lynch

My Beautiful Hippie
Title: My Beautiful Hippie
Author: Janet Nichols Lynch
Series: N/A
Source: Publisher for review
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication Date: January 15, 2013
Goodreads||The Book Depository
Inspired by Lynch's students' fascination with the sixties, in which they wear sixties styles and T-shirts with sixties rock stars, and listen to sixties music; set in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco, with a 15-year old female protagonist who's an aspiring pianist that falls in love with a hippie; representing themes that echo today with traditional values vs the counterculture, the morality of wars in general and the Vietnam War in particular and the effects of the women’s movement on American society.
I have to admit-- this wasn't exactly what I expected. I had myself psyched out about this book, because I thought that there was no way it could end on a good note. Thankfully, I was wrong, and it ended on a fairly good note. But for some reason, I had it in my head that when Joni met Martin-- well, I figured Martin wasn't as hippie as we'd like to think. Turns out that he was, though. Which was nice, because I was afraid that this was going to be a novel of abuse.

And it wasn't, so that was great.

I thought that it was realistic. What must it have been like in the summer of love? LSD is everywhere-- and who would want to do that? (Seriously, if LSD makes you retreat into your mind, I won't be having none. My mind is a scary place without that, thank you very much.) Pot is everywhere too-- and it's talked about in this book. Drug references/use, check.

I think that my only problem with My Beautiful Hippie  was that Martin holds all the cards on Joni. He's a straight-up hippie, meaning he's traveling, etc. And all she wants is for him to stay, ultimately winding up with her being hurt by him.

And Joni was pretty cool, so that just sucked.

Joni was actually one of the high-points of this book-- she had a rocking personality. She's rebellious, she tie-dyes her own clothes, and well, she was just a cool main character for a book like this. She made a good flower child-- and I liked most of the secondary characters too. Most notable, Pete rocked. He's such a nice guy. Unfortunately, there's just not much for me to say about My Beautiful Hippie.

All in all, I enjoyed this "blast from the past", but it wasn't particularly for me, you know?
"I've found it's just the same after a few times. I'm not going to learn anything else by doing more. Sure it's beautiful-- a good trip is. The mind expands to show you a million possibilities. You feel 'one' with everybody. But then you come down. Every time, you come down and you're the same, with your same problems." ~ Pg. 45, ARC

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