Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume (1981)
Davey’s whole life is falling apart. Her father was shot in a holdup. Her family is broken. And worse, her mother is taking Davey and her little brother all the way from home to visit relatives in New Mexico while they recover.
Davey doesn’t want to recover.
But New Mexico works its own kind of magic on Davey and her family. Wandering the desert landscape Davey meets a mysterious boy called “Wolf” with his own secrets and his own reasons for understanding Davey’s sad eyes. With his help, maybe Davey can finally move on.
So Judy Blume is obviously very popular. Most of her books fall into the time before I was reading YA (this one being published a few years before I was born) so Blume is never quite an author I get to. While I can see the appeal of this book, it largely didn’t work for me.
While Davey’s struggles are very contemporary and relevant, the story itself was often dated with Davey working as a candy striper (do those even exist anymore?) to name but one example. A general air of Cold War hysteria permeates the story as well with Davey’s aunt and uncle in a panic about the nearby nuclear plant malfunctioning.
I can see the appeal here and it might appeal to readers looking for this very specific kind of story. On the other hand there are also more recent stories that cover similar themes just as well.