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Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr // Book Review & Thoughts *NO SPOILERS*




Gem & Dixie is the new novel from renowned young adult author and National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr—a deep, nuanced, and gorgeously written story about the complex relationship between two sisters from a broken home.

Gem has never known what it is to have security. She’s never known an adult she can truly rely on. But the one constant in her life has been Dixie. Gem grew up taking care of her sister when no one else could: not their mother, whose issues make it hard for her to keep food on the table; and definitely not their father, whose intermittent presence is the only thing worse than his frequent absence. Even as Gem and Dixie have grown apart, they’ve always had each other.

When their dad returns for the first time in years and tries to insert himself back into their lives, Gem finds herself with an unexpected opportunity: three days with Dixie, on their own in Seattle and beyond. But this short trip soon becomes something more, as Gem discovers that to save herself, she may have to sever the one bond she’s tried so hard to keep.


Before I get into my thoughts, I want to let you know I received an ARC from a goodreads giveaway! This book will be published in April. Here’s the goodreads link if you wish to find out more about Gem & Dixie!

Rating: 4/5 stars

This book was a simple, fast read for me. I zoomed through the last 150 pages because I was so interested in the characters and what was going to happen.

I found the characters and story to be realistic. Gem & Dixie’s family wasn’t picture-perfect. Bonds were broken, they felt neglected by their dysfunctional parents. My heart ached for Gem (17) and Dixie (14) who were close as young children, but grew apart over the years. They didn’t have a lot of food, or money, or parents that showed they cared. I really liked Gem as a narrator, and character, and often found myself feeling bad for her.She didn’t really have anyone, and you could feel her sadness from the amount of neglect she felt from her parents. She saw right through both of them, and wished so badly things were different. Dixie was the complete opposite. Young, beautiful, popular, reckless, and always had hope for her parents and tried to see the best in them.

My favorite part of the book was when Gem and Dixie went on their trip. They got to talk, spend time with each other, do the things they wished they could do everyday, and hopefully grow a stronger bond. I found myself rooting for them and hoping for the best.

Gem & Dixie was an enjoyable read. I loved the cover and the words within the pages.I’m definitely interested in reading more of Sarah Zarr’s work in the future.

My favorite quote: “…nothing and no one is all good or all bad, and that’s what makes it so complicated.”

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