Every Crooked Pot by Renee Rosen
Nina has hemangioma. Children taunt her with Big Eye Little Eye and bark at her like a dog. Her best friend, Patty, even overweight, has boyfriends and Nina doesn't. Her father loves his family in his overbearing and controlling way.
About half way through I was ready for Nina to break out of her poor me cycle and have major events happen in her life. Rosen has written a solid novel, but I wonder if adults might relate to it better than teens. If it had been a movie, Nina would have been narrating it as a flashback with adult wisdom, experience and the mellowing of years. The last page has a revealing realization for Nina as she is reflecting on her childhood "It seemed there was a gap between memory and reality, and that made me sad". This felt like a coming of age tale in retrospective.
I liked the aspects of Jewish culture that didn't feel added on or kitched up. It felt like a natural component to the family and the way they spoke to each other and some perspectives/philosophies of the world.
Rosen has hemangioma too, but her website assures readers that the book is a work of fiction. (she included a photo of the "original crooked pots" below) The authenticity of much of the story felt strong and sure. Good for a different audience. NAY