Review by Jasmine Sov, 15
The Lightness of Hands By Jeff Garvin
After Ellie Dante’s dad—a once-great stage magician—attempted an ambitious trick on live TV and failed, his career went completely down the drain. Now, Ellie and her father have been struggling to make ends meet, living in an old RV and taking gigs at birthday parties and bars. When the jobs dwindle and their RV kicks the bucket, they’re left struggling to get medication for Dad’s heart condition as well as Ellie’s bipolar II disorder. But then, an impossible opportunity comes along—a famous magic duo calls Ellie, and they offer fifteen thousand dollars for her dad to recreate the same trick that was his career’s downfall on their live TV special. Despite her knowing that her dad will refuse, she takes the offer anyway. Now, she must figure out how to pull it off and confront the things that weigh down on her to save her dad and herself.
The Lightness of Hands was a beautifully immersive book—it allowed the reader to really experience the euphoric highs that Ellie felt while performing on stage, and then get hit with the sharp contrast of melancholy on her bad days. Ellie was a very human protagonist; it was easy to empathize with her and her dad’s situation and understand why she made the choices that she did. While the romance part of the book was fairly enjoyable, it didn’t feel very essential. Raw, heartfelt, and true, The Lightness of Hands is an honest story filled to the brim with pure emotion.
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Catalog Number: YA FIC GARVIN,J