Book Review: “The Yearbook” by Carol Masciola

The YearbookLola Lundy hasn’t had an easy life. She has been an orphan since birth and patronized by everyone around her because of her deceased mother’s struggle with mental illness. Once Lola gets the chance to switch her lonely and depressing life for a life with a real family, good-natured friends and a guy who loves her, she doesn’t hesitate to seize the opportunity. The only problem is that this new life is in the past.

While trying to escape a supposed assailant, Lola comes across a reserve room in her new school’s library that is more than just mold and withering books. The room is a gateway to the 1920’s. It’s through this gateway that Lola realizes that there could be more to her life than just foster homes and dead-end sleazy jobs. In this new world (or rather, old world), Lola is able to be the loved niece of a childless judge and his wife. She’s adored at her new high school and easily catches the eye of the school’s brainiac. However, she is constantly being dragged between both worlds and is threatened by the chance that not only might she not be able to return to 1924, but she might be stuck in a world that is determined to label her as crazy.

I didn’t Lola’s character as much as I could have. She’s constantly trying to escape a world where she thinks she doesn’t belong. Instead of fighting to carve out a life for herself in the world she was born into, she tries to infuse herself into a time where no one knows her and she can get a fresh start. I don’t wrong her for wanting a new life and an actual home, but it just seems as if she gave up on fighting for the life she could have in her own era. Regardless, I enjoyed reading about how she found the gateway to the past, and I liked reading about the many different things that supposedly happened in the 1920’s.

The most interesting thing about this novel, other than the portal to another era, is the yearbook. It is both Lola’s saving grace and her downfall. If it wasn’t for this book that she found in the reserve room, she wouldn’t have found a world where she could truly belong. It’s also this same book that made many believe that she was just as crazy as her mother. Honestly, I also began to think that Lola had been imagining the things that happened when she visited the 1920’s. The doctors were so convincing, it just seemed easier to accept their logic.

All in all, “The Yearbook” by Carol Masciola was a book, while very captivating, that had a series of dull moments that seemed to never end. Still, it’s a light read for anyone looking to delve into new genres.

Rating: 8/10

Length: 224 pages
Publisher: Merit Press (November 15, 2015)
Genre: YA  Fiction, Historical Fiction, Sci-Fi
Completed: December 2015
Source: ARC Copy

Leigh-Ann Brodber is an upcoming enthusiastic journalist. She knows it is a field that is already heavily flooded by diverse opinions, hard criticism and occasional appraisal (when it’s due), but she’s sure she’ll be able to add her own colors to the journalism rainbow soon enough. Leigh-Ann currently attends COSTAATT, a college located in the Caribbean, where she’s pursuing her Bachelors in Mass Communication. She’s written film, stage production and food articles for various websites, and she’s also a born and bred animal rights activist, although she doesn’t think she’ll ever give up her rights to eat chicken. She has helped out at her local hospital many-a-time by indulging in weekly chit-chat with patients under a program called Candy Stripers. She recently started getting help for her long term Facebook addiction, she swears.