Almost English by Charlotte Mendelson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Not fitting in a boarding school? Yeah, I can relate to that one. But the rest of this just felt a bit (ok, a lot) over the top: one of those books where you just want to shake the main characters and say "sit down and have a conversation" because the plot rests on them not actually conversing.
Marina's life both at home, with her Hungarian-refugee great aunts and grandmother, and at school, where she doesn't fit in, are painted realistically and that's what garnered this book so much praise. But she's not a likeable heroine, and not just because of those awkward teen things. It's almost as though Mendelson didn't like her and wanted to make that clear to readers. As for the ending, it's muddled (costing at least a star) and contrived.