[Book Review] My Alternate Life

An adoptee reviews My Alternate Life by Lee Tobin McClain, a book about one teen's search for her birth mom.

Smooch; 2004

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Trinity B. Jones is a foster kid who’s “been to enough adoption picnics to know that adoptive parents want a cute little baby to hold, not a 15-year-old with brown skin, a 34-C, and a nose ring.”

Trinity discovers an alternate-lives computer game that lets her “spy” on her birth mom, and finds that she lives nearby. Her scheme to meet her birth mom works, but everything doesn’t turn out exactly as Trinity planned. At the end, she has to decide whether she really thinks her birth mom is the best person to raise her.

I couldn’t put this book down. (I actually got in trouble for reading it when I wasn’t supposed to.) I like it because I can relate to it: I was in a lot of foster homes before I was adopted. There are some things in the book that aren’t realistic, though. For example, it’s not that easy to track down your birth mom. I think kids should be able to get to know their birth mother, but they shouldn’t feel like they have to impress her, like Trinity did.

Some things are better off the way they are, and you shouldn’t try to change them.

Reviewed by Ashley Romero-Rabben, age 12

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