Finding Yvonne

288p. Little, Brown. Aug. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316349055.
Gr 9 Up—L.A. high school senior Yvonne lives with her single father, a high-end chef, and has identified as a violinist since she was a small child. Now, her music seems to have failed her as an identity, and she longs for the mother who deserted the family a dozen years earlier. She is also shifting between two markedly different young men. There is much potential here, both for Yvonne and readers, to consider in terms of knowing oneself, evaluating prospective paths of action, and moving ahead. However, the story is littered with only partially realized, and thus frustrating, symbolism and less-than-credible turns. By the end of the novel, readers will understand that Yvonne's father is depressed, but it takes a long time to get to that realization from what seems to be his primary presentation as a habitually pot-smoking, often absent parent. The inclusion of an LGBTQ nod is relegated to the sidekick's lesbian mothers, present in a few passages. The nuances of passing and racial erasure in the contemporary African American community is one area handled here with grace and cogency through the frustration of one of Yvonne's love interests, who feels slighted when an interviewer fails to identify him as black. Lacking the spark of energy of Little & Lion, Colbert's latest seems underdeveloped.
VERDICT An additional purchase.

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