A Room on Lorelai Street is a story of a young woman trying to make it from one day to the next. She attempts to rise above her less-than-stellar unbringing by moving out and living on her own while still in high school. She soon finds that it is difficult to balance her studies and work. She struggles to pay the rent and to deal with her family's situation.
Zoe once had a family consisting of a mother, a father, a younger brother and herself. By the time she was a teenager, everything had fallen apart. Her father died. Her mother turned to alcohol. Her brother was sent away to live with relatives, but Zoe had to stay, for the sake of her mother - and her overbearing grandmother. Zoe finds a small house on Lorelai Street with a room to rent. It is owned by a kind elderly woman, and the rent is cheap, something she can afford on her salary as an afterschool waitress. She is at first hesitant to move out of her home, but when her mother does one more thing - the straw that broke the camel's back - Zoe gets out of there.
What makes protagonist Zoe remarkable is that she does not lament her childhood nor blame others. She never whines about her situation. She never drowns in self-pity. She is a likable, fallible character. Set in modern-day and written in present tense, A Room on Lorelai Street is something which can be read cover-to-cover in one sitting. Not only that, but this book should appeal to teenagers and adults alike, reading it with different perspectives. Anyone who has ever struggled to make ends meet, no matter what his or her age or situation, will appreciate the numbers Zoe has to crunch, the sacrifices she has to make, and the consequences she must face. Congratulations to Mary Pearson on creating a character with heart and writing a book that will stick with readers years after they have finished it.