Teen Review– Paint Me a Monster by Janie Baskin



Nothing is ever picture perfect. Rinnie doesn’t fit in with her family at all. She says the wrong thing at the wrong time, doesn’t like dress shopping and stole something from the department store. Her family outcasts her by yelling and sending her away to summer camps. This causes Rinnie to mold herself into something she is not as she gains her way to popularity by becoming a cheerleader. After her parents divorce and her brother gets taken away to live with his father, Rinnie and her sister are left with their alcoholic, mentally unstable and abusive mother. They watch her go through failed relationships and marriages. While trying to take care of her mother, Rinnie takes herself onto a path of self-destruction by going on an unhealthy diet. 

I loved the book. The reader can capture the suffering Rinnie has to face and the feelings of being alone in the world with no one caring about how you feel or paying any attention to your health. I felt so much sympathy for her. She is supposed to be the child and the mother needs to be out looking for her, not the other way around! I also loved the way Rinnie turned to art as a method of cooping with the pain. I love Janie Baskin’s writing style. She can captivate the reader with a story that is very repeatable in our current generation. 

I loved the line in the story “Dad and mom might want me then”. This basically shows the audience how much she wants her parents’ approval and the lengths she is willing to go to get her parent’s love. Another memorable thing in the book is her strong support group.


Review by Arghawan, grade 6, Dumbarton Area Library


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