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What Happened to Lani Garver
 
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What Happened to Lani Garver [Format Kindle]

Carol Plum-Ucci

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The folks on Hackett Island, near Philadelphia, are not too friendly to newcomers. Anyone the slightest bit different is eyed with suspicion, as Claire found out when she missed a year of junior high due to leukemia. Now she works hard at fitting in, following treacherous but popular Macy's lead, hiding her passion for the guitar, and never talking about her fear that her illness will return. Or her nightmares. Or her eating disorder. The boys of Hackett Island's "in" crowd are members of the "fish frat"--hunky sons of the local fishermen--and their horseplay even among themselves is brutal and edge-of-danger.

And then Lani Garver shows up at school, a tall, thin, strangely androgynous person. "No. Not a girl. Sorry," he says pleasantly when Macy questions him about his gender with vicious curiosity. But Claire, much to Macy's disgust, is drawn to Lani, and his wisdom and kindness begins to heal her. He takes her to Philadelphia to meet his artistic friends, talks sense to her about her eating disorder and her blind devotion to Macy, finds her a therapist. Who is this Lani Garver? He resists "boxes" like "gay." Even his age is a mystery to Claire. Strangest of all, could he be a "floating angel," as his friends at the hospital seem to believe? Meanwhile, the fish frat are closing in for the kill, and when their harassment turns lethal, Lani shows a terrible side of himself Claire has never seen.

Carol Plum-Ucci raises tantalizing questions around a fascinating character in this gut-clenching story that transcends the clichés of the gay-bashing novel. (Ages 14 and older) --Patty Campbell

From Publishers Weekly

Claire McKenzie, narrator of this taut, provocative novel, wonders not only "what happened to Lani Garver" but about who and what Lani is. When Lani shows up on Hackett Island, neither Claire nor her cheerleader friends can tell if Lani is male or female (Asked if he's a girl, he says, "Oh! No. Not a girl. Sorry"). Claire has been hiding much of her identity, too: she conceals her electric guitar and the bloody lyrics she writes, and she doesn't tell her friends or her alcoholic mother that she suspects her leukemia has returned. When Lani finds her fainting, he pries her secrets out of her, then takes her to a hospital where she can get tested without parental consent. They bond, a bit quickly, as he helps her face her "hidden garbage," (among other things, her recent ill health is due to an eating disorder). When an orderly tells her about androgynous "floating angels," spiritual beings that help people in need, the discussion plants a question in Claire's mind, and as odd events continue, she skates close to asking if Lani might be one of those angels. Plum-Ucci's talent is such that readers will share rather than dismiss Claire's curiosity. The climactic scene, in which the boys kidnap Lani and Claire and take them to the docks, crackles with suspense. Even if not always convincing, the plotting exerts a sure grip, commanding the imagination well past the final page. Ages 14-up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Amazon.com: 4.6 étoiles sur 5  67 commentaires
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Richie's Picks: WHAT HAPPENED TO LANI GARVER 8 octobre 2002
Par Richie Partington - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
... Claire, who tells us the story of WHAT HAPPENED TO LANI GARVER. It is a horror story about a person--well, let's say, a being--who arrives with his mother on Hackett Island, where Claire is a native. Sporting an unusual hairstyle and graced with delicate features, it is unclear whether LANI (pronounced "Lonny") is a boy or a girl. ...
Claire is a native. Her boyfriend is a member of the fish frat--"that's the sons of Hackett's commercial fishermen, who are sometimes lifeguards and usually very hunky." Her friends think she should be happy, set in her position among the high school elite, healthy after missing most of junior high due to treatments for acute juvenile leukemia.
But Claire, who still has her share of problems, sees the neatly folded boxes of her life crumble when she becomes friends with Lani. And what happens as a result is a tense tale that won't let you go.
"We don't talk about the drowning around the island. We don't really talk about what led up to it, either. If I hear Lani's name, it's usually in mentions of him having gone to our high school for only two days, and isn't that weird, as if the greater mysteries never existed. Maybe that's the way people need to remember it."
While reading WHAT HAPPENED TO LANI GARVER, my stomach all knotted up, I kept asking myself, "Could a whole group of kids really be this horrible?" ...
Richie ...
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Do angels really walk the earth? 14 juin 2004
Par QUEEN_OF_EVERYTHING - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Carol Plum-Ucci's novel, WHAT HAPPENED TO LANI GARVER, is so unbelievably remarkable that words cannot fully express its greatness. It takes place in locations I know and the story's protagonist, Claire, is nothing short of amazing. This novel is thought-provoking. It compelled me to ask questions I'd never asked myself. And, to my surprise, it even made me cry. Usually, books do not move me all that much - this book was an exception.
You will come to know and love Claire, a member of her high school elite on Hackett Island, close to Philadelphia. As I mentioned, this novel talks of many places I know, such as South Street, a whimsical place where, in real life, you can find "preps," people with countless piercings, tattoos, and hair hues, goths, rockers, etc. But WHAT HAPPENED TO... strays from labels.
Enter Lani Garver. Is Lani a he or a she? Well, although it never really is determined, we suspect Lani to be a boy. It's a difficult thing to confirm because he has the long lashes and red lips of a girl. He's tall and broad-shouldered like a boy. His hair is longer than the average boy's but his hands are a bit more on the masculine side. And he hates labels. Here, he refers to them as "boxes." "Gay" is a box. "Straight" and "bi" are boxes. As are "boy" and "girl." Upon first seeing him in the cafeteria, Claire is intrigued and says she'll be his friend, much to her best friend Macy's dismay.
Claire is a leukemia survivor who missed out on the junior high experience. Macy, kind and less judgemental than the other girls of her group, befriended Claire when she returned to school after being taught at home. Since their time spent together, they've collected many fond memories, many of them frozen in photographs. Macy deems Lani to be an odd character and is less drawn to him than Claire. Clearly, she gets jealous as a friendship quickly evolves between Lani and Claire.
Claire incessantly worries over relapsing back into her leukemia and is always looking for symptoms - bruises darker than average blemishes and orange-tinged blood. At The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, (BEEN THERE!!!) Claire meets a doctor named Marcus, who explains to her the theory of floating angels. At first, she thinks he must be joking and laughs, despite the fact he's totally serious. Marcus explains how angels are sexless beings, that you cannot tell whether they are male or female. Immediately, Claire thinks of Lani. Oddly enough, Marcus knows him, as does the rest of the hospital staff.
As their friendship grows stronger, Lani teaches Claire things she could have never possibly learned from her regular crew of school friends. Lani judges no one. He labels no one and has acceptance for everyone. Besides that, he's mind-blowingly intelligent and introduces Claire to new friends, people she immediately clicks with. But everyone on Hackett assumes Lani is gay, a box he does not want to be in, and they taunt him to no end. Claire's friends are genuinely worried about her and once they see she enjoys Lani's company and won't leave him, they go to drastic measures to try and "knock sense" back into Claire.
Plum-Ucci's novel is a dazzling piece of work, what YM magazine has called, "Gripping." Yet that word barely covers it. As Claire battles personal demons and questions her own sanity, you can't help but feel her pain as she narrates her story. And as you read on, you will come to understand the sad truth of a hate crime and how those involved will always be forced to pay their dues, more or less.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A Thought-Provoking Good Book 28 août 2003
Par SARAH - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Cancer, homosexuality, family problems, reality, eating disorders, stress, angels, a little bit of everything is covered in this book. It deals with the harsh truth of the life of a teenage girl, but has a twist when her little reality "bubble" comes toppling down. Claire thinks that her life is good, even though she does have some problems, but they're not anything she wants to talk about with her fun-loving friends. She ends up learning numerous valuable lessons, that you too are sure to pick up on.
Everything had started to go right for Claire, she was a cheerleader, was back in school, and seemed to be pretty healthy. But her whole world turned upside down when Lani Garver comes to her small island. Nobody can seem to figure out exactly what Lani is. Claire can't seem to resist her interest in this kid, and ends up telling him a lot of things that she has chosen not to share with anyone. Lani listens and helps her. But can she befriend such a "controversial" person? Calire ends up in a really big pickle to say the least.
Does she befriend Lani? If she does talk to this kid, what is everybody going to think, and more importantly do? All these questions are answered and more. Claire has many more problems than she likes to tell people. They end up being told eventually, but of course there are consequences.
People like to hide who they really are inside because they're afraid of rejection, and then criticize others who know more so who they are. But who are these people to sit and judge anybody else when they themselves are so confused about who they are? Lani Garver has his opinions about life and everything, and knows who he is. But he gets criticized because of his beliefs and looks. After hearing what happens to Lani and how Claire puts on such a fake identity it really makes you stop and think about yourself. Nobody should be judged based on looks, or who we hang out with, or anything such as this. We should love one another because of our differences, they're what make us special.
Everybody can get a different lesson out of this book to help us improve our everyday lives. It gives you a different out look on your own life, and how you live it. This book is best for high school students who like deep reading on thought-provoking controversial issues. It's just a book that you have to read for yourself. There's no doubt that you'll want to tell the whold world about it!
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 original spin on old tale 8 novembre 2002
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
This book uses issues like gay bashing, eating disorders and peer pressure to explore what is essentially a tale of sin and redemption. The teens in this book speak like they do in Hollywood movies, all self-consciously "hip" and snide. It seems like the author tries to shanghai an example of "teenspeak" such as "wild and happy parade of the teeth going" or "rule the cule" onto every page, and this makes it an awkward read. Most of the time, today's teens speak like everyone else, at least the ones I know, though of course they have their own catch-phrases.
The characters also seem strangely young at times. I doubt kids who are partying hard every week night insult people by remarking on their imaginary "boogers." That insult belongs in elementary school, at least when I was young. Adolescent girls are a little more sophisticated in their barbs by high school.
This was an original take on bullying, though, with several characters who were strikingly well-developed and did not fit into any "box" to quote one. I wish, however, the author hadn't tried to tie everything up in the final chapter. It reminded me of those movies where we get explanations of what happened to every character at the end, even the minor ones we could care less about (Like "Loser") I think a little come-uppance is great, but when cosmic justice is too neat (like this book) it erodes some of the believability that the author has worked so hard to create...
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Do angels really walk among us? 29 juin 2005
Par impossible girl - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
First of all, this is a GREAT book that is hard to put down once you start reading it. You'll wonder, do angels really exist? Lani (pronounced Lonnie) seems feminine and masculine at the same time. With his girlish features, he becomes the outcast at the high school....and it doesn't help that he's new to town either. Luckily, he finds a friend in Claire, who is in remission from leukemia and whose friends are too creeped out about her courageous battle with cancer to talk about it with her.

Lani, as Claire finds out, is a good listener and also gives good advice. But when the other people in town accuse Lani of being gay and propositioning one of the town drunks, things go a little haywire. Should Claire stick with the friends she's known for years or this he-she, Lani, who has only been around a few days? Is she seeing things conveniently or is what she sees the truth?

This book, once I opened it, was a hard one to put down and it kept me going right up until the ending. If you're looking for a book that will hold your attention and keep you on the edge of your seat, this book is definitely for you.
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