I love to be surprised by books, especially ones that connect several elements into a well-composed examination of the human experience. I came across Sleeping Around by Morgan Vega on Reedsy recently, and I was drawn in by the writing from the first page. Immediately wrapped up in the story, I found myself thinking about it and finding excuses to pick it back up again for just one more chapter.
Sleeping Around tells the story of Coralee (Corey) Reed, who is just about to embark on her new life as a college student. Having grown up in eleven different foster homes, the odds were stacked against her being able to attend college at all, let alone on a full scholarship. When her dreams come crashing down upon realizing that her acceptance was not what she thought, Corey must learn to rely both on other humans and her trusty Violin to piece everything back together again. Please see my full review here.
Impressively, the author does not come from a foster home experience, but she conducted research to be able to appropriately depict the emotions inherent to life in the foster care system. Because no two families are alike and permanency is a moving target, it is hard for Corey to trust anyone’s good intentions. Having been let down too many times, she believes it is better to go through life expecting the worst so she won’t get hurt again. I shed a tear more than once for Corey through this story as her resolve is tested because she so desperately yearns for a comfortable existence.
Human emotions and beliefs are primary features of this story, especially as Corey describes her own life in the foster care system alongside the experiences she and her foster siblings share. Intertwined with this is classical music, reflecting Corey’s love of the violin and her ambition to succeed. Not only are musical terms introduced at the beginning of each chapter, but people’s voices are often described in musical terms as well, emphasizing the importance and pervasiveness of music in Corey’s world. Though I’m not a violinist, Corey’s intensity and professionalism were familiar to me because of a friend who is likewise adept at playing the violin. This connection made Corey feel more real to me than she might have otherwise, and it made me believe her story even more.
Coming of age stories are especially important for young adult readers preparing for college, but this novel is a standout. Encompassing many challenging and wonderful experiences, the transition to adulthood is dynamically and memorably portrayed within this narrative. Well written, well designed, and filled with emotion, this book will leave readers with a different opinion of the world than they had when they began. I highly recommend Sleeping Around to mature young adult readers, especially those who appreciate stories embracing the complexities of real life.
Sound good? The author, Morgan Vega, has generously offered to share the first chapter with you. Download it by clicking below!
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