Rating: Decent + 5 Scoops
Complimentary e-galley provided by NetGalley.
Sonja "Sunny" Ehret along with her fellow high school juniors, must perform 40 hours of community service to graduate. Unable to secure a position in her ideal location, an upscale hair shop, Salon Teo, Sunny is
assigned to the Alzheimer's ward at Paradise Manor. Still harboring resentment about her placement, Sunny with the help of Cole, a resident's grandson, adjusts to life at Paradise Manor and soon begins to enjoy it. Death, although a regular occurrence at the Manor, takes a criminal turn.
The novel opens with the judge awaiting Sunny's plea, which hooked me immediately. However, the choppy transitions between the courtroom scenes, journal entries, and flashbacks were a bit confusing. Also, the flip-flop from present to past lacked smoothness creating lulls in the story. McNicoll's ascription of crow likeness and characteristics to the prosecution and judge is a riot. Through Sunny's journal entries, I come to know her. Initially referring to Paradise Manor residents as inmates, Sunny before long develops respect and affection for them. I enjoyed watching Sunny evolve from a self-involved teen required to serve others to caring for the patients desiring their happiness. Neither the characters nor the plot drew me in, but the storyline kept me reading. The strength of the novel draws itself from illustrating the difficulty of caring for individuals with Alzheimer's Disease. Sunny says it best, "I'm sorry for your loss...not this one. But the disease...you know?" To me this quote speaks volumes to those who have lost a love one to Alzheimer's.