The Key to the Golden Firebird

key to the golden firebirdOk. The next book I read is NOT going to have anything to do with people dying. Well, at least I hope not. People do have a way of dying suddenly on you in books sometimes. But after The Year of Magical Thinking and then Maureen Johnson's The Key To the Golden Firebird one I'm starting to dream about people dying. Although the fact that I didn't finish this one until 1am might have something to do with last night's dreams...

May's life is going according to plan. She's been accepted into a private and advanced girl's school. Her older sister, Brooks, is one of the stars of the school's softball team and her younger sister, Palmer, is set to follow that lead. Her parents are happy. The only thorn in her side is the annoying Peter who happens to the son of her parent's best friends.

But then her father dies. And nothing is the same.

A year later finds her mother, a nurse, working the night shift so she's never home and when she is she's sleeping. Brooks is partying all the time. Palmer can't sleep and spends all night in front of the tv. May is the "responsible one" and starts to crack under the pressure. Then one night the key to their father's golden firebird is found and starts a turn of events that will either break or unite the family.

I enjoy Johnson's writing style. There's something very authentic about it. Her characters are real and honest and I found myself identifying with all the sisters at one point or another during the book. There was angst (we are talking about 3 teen-aged girls after all) but just enough that it didn't get irritating.

Not sure what I plan to read next but I hope it doesn't have death. I'm deathed out.