Thursday, September 16, 2010

Breaking the Bank: How would you handle a magic ATM?

Breaking the BankBreaking the Bank by Yona Zeldis McDonough

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Mia Saul is down on her luck. Her husband has left her, she's a single mom of a demanding 10-year-old picky eater, and she doesn't have a permanent job. One day she spends the last of her cash on a bag of gourmet groceries to try to get her daughter Eden to eat, and she leaves it on the sidewalk outside Eden's school. She goes to the ATM to get more money...and the ATM spits out ten times the amount she had requested. It's a magic ATM!

This book meandered quite a bit, and it seemed like the author didn't really know where it was headed much of the time. It's longer than it really needs to be, for one. Mia has fallings out with her brother, mother, and best friend...not to mention her ex-husband who is a complete ass. They all portray her as bitter and angry and treat her pretty horribly...and it's hard to understand why. She views herself a as a highly committed mom, but she can't even remember the name of her daughter's teacher. None of the characters really come to life very effectively, including Mia herself. She ends up spending the night in jail and hooking up with a surprising character. It's hard to understand her motives or her thought processes at times. And she's still heartbroken about her ex leaving her, even though he comes across as a jerk.

The concept of the book is intriguing, but it is not really effectively implemented into a satifying story. Then it's all tied up in an extremely happy ending. I finished the book, so I guess that's saying something, but I'm not sure I'd necessarily recommend it to anyone.

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