Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: The Sharp Time by Mary O'Connell

Author: Mary O'Connell
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 8, 2011
Pages: 228
Read in: 2 days

Sandinista Jones is a high school senior with a punk rock name and a broken heart. The death of her single mother has left Sandinista alone in the world, subject to the random vulnerability of everyday life. When the school system lets her down, her grief and instability intensify, and she ponders a violent act of revenge.

Still, in the midst of her crisis, she gets a job at The Pale Circus, a funky vintage clothing shop, and finds friendship and camaraderie with her coworker, a boy struggling with his own secrets.

Even as Sandinista sees the failures of those with power and authority, she's offered the chance to survive through the redemptive power of friendship. Now she must choose between faith and forgiveness or violence and vengeance. 

The Sugar and Spice: 

Sandinista is a defiant, searching, sarcastic, dark, and open-minded spirit. She’s a spec that’s seizes to exist, yet her irrelevance makes her the most important aspect of “The Sharp Time.”

“The Sharp Time,” begins with Sandinista’s job “interview” for her favorite vintage clothing store, if you can even call it that. She’s shooed away from the store, and asked to write about why she deserves the job. Any other person I know, might’ve come back the next day, or the day after with a neatly written paragraph or two. But, never fear, Sandinista’s here! She storms up a quick paragraph, and marches back up to the store owner. Nevertheless, she’s hired. Not for exquisite taste - no, but for her name! Lucky, lucky. Though she pretty much looks like the epitome of confidence, and put-togetherness, Sandinista has a few monsters under the bed.

She and her mom were involved in a car crash, resulting from a Cutlass that had jumped the curb. She survived, but her mother didn’t. Her father killed himself a month after, leaving her alone in her house, and the world. She gets by each day doing just that, getting by. Until, one unlikely Monday - everything changes. A crazy teacher wakes her up to her sad, miserable, reality, and every word that was uttered haunts her for the rest of week. Guilty thoughts, and repressed memories lead her to an old, vintage clothing store, where she gets a job, and makes a friend that has some monsters of his own.

Throughout the novel, Sandinista struggles with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). Her thoughts, life, concerns, and mind tend to wander quite a bit. There’s no doubt that Sandinista, isn’t like any other troubled eighteen-year-old girl. What ends up making her special, are her unique perspectives, and train-of-thoughts. At first I was a bit confused, and irritated about how all-over-the-place her thoughts were, but as I began to read on, I realized that what was just an irrelevant thought, had a link to something bigger, with much more meaning.

I, without a doubt, judged this book by its cover. But, how can you not?! The cover says SO much, with SO little. I really enjoyed “The Sharp Time,” I was a bit aggravated by the lack of kick-ass action, and a love interest, however, that was all made up for with Sandinista’s extraordinarily, well-developed character. My advice? When you clear up a bit of that never-ending, TBR-list, read “The Sharp Time.” 


  1. New follower from Book Blogs! I absolutely love the colors of your blog! SOO pretty! Here's my blog if you'd like to stop by and I'm also having a giveaway and would love for you to enter!

    MaMa's Book Corner Giveaway

  2. Hey, Leigh Ann. Thank you so much <3 And thanks for the follow! Heading over to your blog now. We just entered your giveaway, though. Hope we win (: *crosses fingers*

  3. Hey, Leigh Ann. Thank you so much <3 And thanks for the follow! Heading over to your blog now. We just entered your giveaway, though. Hope we win (: *crosses fingers*

  4. I've heard about this book, and seen many reviews on it. All of which are pretty mediocre. It seems like it probably would be kind of confusing/hard to keep up with. The cover is beautiful, though (:

  5. Definitely agree with you.

  6. Janhvi @ The ReaddictsOctober 29, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Oooh hadn't heard of this one but it sounds good :) Thnaks for your review! Thanks for stopping by The Readdicts! Following back :)

    Janhvi @ The Readdicts

  7. Glad I could help. No problemoo. Thanks for the follow back (: