The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary
Macy's school officially classifies her as "disturbed," but Macy isn't interested in how others define her. She's got more pressing problems: her mom can't move off the couch, her dad's in prison, her brother's been kidnapped by Child Protective Services, and now her best friend isn't speaking to her. Writing in a dictionary format, Macy explains the world in her own terms—complete with gritty characters and outrageous endeavors. With an honesty that's both hilarious and fearsome, slowly Macy reveals why she acts out, why she can't tell her incarcerated father that her mom's cheating on him, and why her best friend needs protection . . . the kind of protection that involves Macy's machete.

The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary Details

TitleThe Disturbed Girl's Dictionary
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 1st, 2018
PublisherCarolrhoda Books
ISBN-139781512439762
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult, Realistic Fiction

The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary Review

  • David
    January 1, 1970
    Macy Cashmere’s one-of-a-kind, no-holds-barred teen memoir will blow your mind and break your heart. Her unforgettable voice is hard-hitting and unflinching, compassionate and street wise, delivered with a linguistic and structural playfulness that both dazzles the reader and draws them in deep. With Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary, NoNieqa Ramos establishes herself as a literary star on the rise.
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  • ☆Dani☆ ☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆
    January 1, 1970
    I give this book 5 out of 5 Freakin Fantastic Stars! I am over the moon about this BOOK!What attracted me to this book was the cover and the title, then I read the premise and was sold. This book meant more to me than pages in a book, I understood Macy. I was Macy.I saw many reviews on this book and so many DNF this book because of the spelling and grammatical errors. I understand the need for proper grammer but this was about Macy expressing herself. I thought it was beautiful literature!This w I give this book 5 out of 5 Freakin Fantastic Stars! I am over the moon about this BOOK!What attracted me to this book was the cover and the title, then I read the premise and was sold. This book meant more to me than pages in a book, I understood Macy. I was Macy.I saw many reviews on this book and so many DNF this book because of the spelling and grammatical errors. I understand the need for proper grammer but this was about Macy expressing herself. I thought it was beautiful literature!This was beyond realistic. When Macy battled Child Protective Services and dealt with all her raw and intense emotions, I was brought back to when I was considered the “disturbed” girl who didn’t have a chance in the system but proved them all wrong.Being a teenager and facing more things than many adults will ever encounter in their lifetime is tough. When it’s the normal to go without food or deal with “the system” tearing your family apart, it’s tough as a teenager. You’re dealing with all these hormones and messed up emotions but have no idea what to do with it all because you have no choice but to be strong. I have seen the scary side of “the system” and my normal has been “disturbed” just like Macy’s. Macy comes off as a pain in the ass and an angry/crazy teenager. When Macy has all this on the outside, all she really is doing is trying to survive and hide her brokenness. I enjoyed all the characters in this story and loved their backgrounds. Alma and George were great in their sweet but complicated way. Macy’s mother was a complete hot mess. All the characters in this story were realistic in their own messed up and unique way.This book made me laugh, smile, and cry but overall was an amazing experience that I will never forget. I can’t express enough how hilarious this book was and realistic at the same time. I highly recommend this book to whoever can relate or wants to experience something different! I am so glad that I was able to experience Macy’s journey and to read a disturbed girl’s masterpiece!
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  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my. This book. I’m still trying to find the words to describe how much I was charmed by, fell in love with, then had my heart ripped out by this EXCELLENT piece of literature. @nonieqa.ramos , I HEART Macy. She is the headstrong, imperfect, big-hearted heroine I’ve been waiting for. I am so grateful for the chance to have read an ebook from Edelweiss, and now sing its praises to the world.•The school Macy Cashmere attends calls her “disturbed”. Especially since she started shaving her head an Oh my. This book. I’m still trying to find the words to describe how much I was charmed by, fell in love with, then had my heart ripped out by this EXCELLENT piece of literature. @nonieqa.ramos , I HEART Macy. She is the headstrong, imperfect, big-hearted heroine I’ve been waiting for. I am so grateful for the chance to have read an ebook from Edelweiss, and now sing its praises to the world.•The school Macy Cashmere attends calls her “disturbed”. Especially since she started shaving her head and won’t take directions from teachers. But through the dictionary that Macy writes, we discover she‘s just a teenager doing what she can to get her brother back from Child Protective Services (and not get taken away herself), forage for crumbs in the couch while her mother is off with “Mr. Guest” after “Mr. Guest”, and protect her BFFs Alma and George.•This book is raw, charming, gritty, humorous and sobering. It impacted me as a teacher because it reveals the stories behind some of the students I have seen in MY classes - some of my most misunderstood, most vulnerable students - and reminded me that everyone needs a Miss Black (You know, someone to leave you books in the recycling bin and expose you to John Coltrane, etc).•It's not a happily every after story, but I can tell you that The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary will stay with you long after you close its pages.•Everyone, this book will be released on February 1st, and YOU NEED IT IN YOUR LIFE
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  • Jo Sorrell
    January 1, 1970
    I was granted the ARC by Netgally. It took me a bit to get into the rhythm and style of this very unique book, and when I did... BAM!! I was getting up in the morning before everyone else so I could read more about disturbed girl Macy. As a teacher I felt sad for her yet frustrated. Reader be aware, the content and language is mature but completely appropriate to the situation. Again, thank you Netgally for this opportunity. Meet, Macy Cashmere, a high school girl living in the margins of societ I was granted the ARC by Netgally. It took me a bit to get into the rhythm and style of this very unique book, and when I did... BAM!! I was getting up in the morning before everyone else so I could read more about disturbed girl Macy. As a teacher I felt sad for her yet frustrated. Reader be aware, the content and language is mature but completely appropriate to the situation. Again, thank you Netgally for this opportunity. Meet, Macy Cashmere, a high school girl living in the margins of society. Obstinate, noncompliant and she knows very well that she emotionally disturbed. She’s a problem that no one can break through, whether at home or at school.Macy is a child of neglect, abuse and poverty. And... Macy’s writing her own book—a secret dictionary that lays out the terms of the world as SHE views and understands them.Macy’s had to grow up quickly. Her father is in prison. Home is chaotic, and basic necessities—from food to heat to a place to sleep are always at issue. Child Protective Services removed her younger brother and would like to take Macy too. Macy is old enough to make that decision herself and she stays. In her own voice we view Macy going through her school routine. Although a problem student, Macy is nonetheless deeply engaged—in the well-being of her best friends, Alma and George. Her mother implies her daughter has no friends. Just one of the ways she is always wrecking her daughter’s self esteemHer blunt, no-nonsense voice lays out her most gruesome and disturbing circumstances she is forced to endure. She tells her story with an honesty that's both hilarious and fearsome.
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  • Dawn Ferencz
    January 1, 1970
    Macy's story broke my heart. I think this will be a book students will read and recommend to their friends.
  • Alexina
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.I'm but a few chapters into this book and, already, I'm very impressed. I can already see this book hitting home with many of my students because it's rare to find a book that is willing to present us with a protagonist who has social and environmental cards stacked against her, as do many of my students.Macy Cashmere describes herself (as does everyone else seem to say) as disturbed. But, her brother is in foster care, having Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.I'm but a few chapters into this book and, already, I'm very impressed. I can already see this book hitting home with many of my students because it's rare to find a book that is willing to present us with a protagonist who has social and environmental cards stacked against her, as do many of my students.Macy Cashmere describes herself (as does everyone else seem to say) as disturbed. But, her brother is in foster care, having been taken away by Child Protective Services, her mom is often with "Mr. Guests," (and magically has money once they leave), and she feeds herself with crumbs from the couch or from her teacher, Miss Black, who seems to understand her plight but doesn't seem to do much else for her.I've had and have Macys in my class every year and their situations break my heart on a daily basis. Finally. A protagonist who I can see my students connecting with because she IS them.Thank you for this book NoNieqa Ramos.**UPDATE**Now that I've finished this book, I can fully give my opinion. It does not waver from what I said above and, so, five stars for this one!This book is so painfully real and I praise Ranos for writing this book and showing how REAL real can be. She acknowledges Gabriel Garcia Marquez (in the "Acknowledgements" section) for helping to write diverse books and Ramos has succeeded in doing just that.This isn't a happily-ever-after book because life isn't always a fairytale ending. Kids like Macy don't always get that ending, and that's what I mean about Ramos giving us what's REAL.For Macy, making friends with prostitutes, hiding from Child Protective Services, not knowing when your mother will return from the club, carrying a machete for protection, and being sexually violated are just another part of her childhood that a lot of us can't even comprehend. But, it's real. And you can't hide from that. And, as a teacher, this is what some of my kids encounter on a daily basis. I'm unsure of how I feel about the many things the reader is left to imply but I think I get it. Because this is told through a dictionary (really a diary-like) format, we see the story from Macy's point of view. Macy doesn't necessarily understand everything going on, though she's a smart girl, and she also excludes the reader from certain private information because that's what she has to do to survive.But, for example, I don't understand why George has to wear a helmet. I'm inclined to say it's because he has Autism of some sort but I'm not entirely sure because Macy isn't entirely sure. He reminded me quite a bit if George from Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men"--a gentle, giant who loves too much.My heart breaks for Alma. I get the whole watching-your-siblings-thing and how much that can weigh on someone. But I was rooting for her as much as Macy and I still am. It also killed me that she talked about how education failed her when it should have saved her. I'm not sure how I feel about Miss Black. I've never worked in an urban school, which isn't to say that I don't have students like Macy because I do. But, I am trained to immediately reach out to my administration and social work crew when I feel that a student is being mistreated or left alone or hungry. Miss Black doesn't do this but she sure bribes Macy with quite a bit of food. I think Alma says it best, though. When her teachers ask her what's going on and if she's okay, she lies and says everything is okay because she can't risk Child Protective Services coming to her house and separating her from all her younger siblings. CPS has always been a double-edged sword. Is it better to take a child from awful conditions and put them into a foster home? Yes, yes of course it is! But, when you're Alma and you have six baby siblings? It's a different story. I also don't understand how it is that Zane can be taken but Macy gets left behind with her mom. I know Macy attempts to explain it but I'm not satisfied and I know that the system is very similar to what's presented in the book.Overall, this is not your feel-good-about-life book but it's eye-opening and sad and funny and heartfelt and leaving you wanting more.
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  • Beccanox
    January 1, 1970
    I feel conflicted about this book and I put it down several times, but once I hit page 60 (see entry, "Bestie"), I was glad I gave it a chance. It was beautiful & intense & hard and reminded me of some parts of real life. There was such stylization, though, it made it hard for me to discern what was honest and what was to make a point. Even for a walk of life I've only tiptoed into, there were times that felt slightly pastiche. Regardless, it is bleak, and likely necessary.
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  • sleepywriter
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Swearing and spoilers to follow.If you're here for my usual snark and 'oh dear god why did I read this book,' you may just want to move along. This is not the review you're looking for. This book. Holy shit. This book. I just. I want to pass this book out to my students and go "Look! Literature isn't just written by white people. You don't need to just read books by dead, white men! This is Your Story! Someone understands." I w I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Swearing and spoilers to follow.If you're here for my usual snark and 'oh dear god why did I read this book,' you may just want to move along. This is not the review you're looking for. This book. Holy shit. This book. I just. I want to pass this book out to my students and go "Look! Literature isn't just written by white people. You don't need to just read books by dead, white men! This is Your Story! Someone understands." I want to give this book to co-workers (and senators and other politicians) and go "Look! This is REAL. Get your head out off your ass and let's actually do something good."I will be honest - I was a little apprehensive about reading this but the summary sucked me in completely. And then I read some of the reviews on goodreads by people who did not even finish reading this book because (and here I laughed) of misspellings and other issues. People, you need smacked upside the head with a clue by four. This book is not about you and your preconceived notions of what "good" literature is. This book is about Macy and the thousands of kids who live her life. And what their definition of good literature is. Macy is a black teenager living in the definition of a destroyed home life. Her mother is no better than prostitute and is also constantly high. Her daddy is in jail. Her little sister is dead. Her brother was taken away by CPS. Her life is a mess and so is she. She's learned the rules she needs to so that she can survive. These rules don't make sense to someone who has a stable home life, but they work for Macy.There is nothing pretty about this book. The ending isn't tied into a neat bow and there's no happy ever after for Macy. And that's real life and that's just how it goes. This is an intense read, but it's worth your time.
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  • Jenna Freedman
    January 1, 1970
    Protagonist Macy Cashmere MYOFB (how she writes her last name in her dictionary entries) is legitimately disturbed. Her mom is a selfish pothead with a series of "guests," her dad is in prison, and her brother has been claimed by child protective services. She's got two friends, George who also performs disturbedness, and the other, Alma, who is an achiever, taking care of half a dozen siblings and slamming the AP track in high school. I haven't read as raw and street poetic a book as this in Protagonist Macy Cashmere MYOFB (how she writes her last name in her dictionary entries) is legitimately disturbed. Her mom is a selfish pothead with a series of "guests," her dad is in prison, and her brother has been claimed by child protective services. She's got two friends, George who also performs disturbedness, and the other, Alma, who is an achiever, taking care of half a dozen siblings and slamming the AP track in high school. I haven't read as raw and street poetic a book as this in a long while. It might be my favorite YA of the year, even edging out The Hate U Give. Macy grabs me right away, with this dedication:She is living a life where parents don't care for her, and the system has let her down, but she is still say "I'm worthwhile. I'm looking out for me."She may not be thriving in school, but she's clearly a critical thinker.  I reach into my desk. Take out History of the American People Volume 1 and clean house. Cross out all the pages about shit that's got nothing to do with me. What's left? Not much. When confronted about her edits, she responds  "Vandalism? I'm not vandalizing any more than you. I'm just deciding which words count and which ones don't. Which words mean something and which don't. That's exactly what you do." Soon after, she throws her desk. I moved mine into the closet when I was in school. I like Macy's method better. Chapters are entries in Macy's dictionary. The entry for Apple begins with a definition Noun. A apple a day keeps the doctor away. So does not having no insurance to pay him with.  Writing during lunch she goes on If Adam offered Eve the apples from my cafeteria, she'd a been like yeah, no, thems nasty. I just think that's so funny and real, but it's worrisome that Macy is always hungry and eats crumbs from the couch, and when her mom does bring home food it's junk like McDonald's and Doritos. Macy is often painfully profound, like how she ends the chapter call Am with "Alma knows who I be. It's more than who I am." Or this head scratcher, "I can't even imagine tomorrow. Tomorrow is for people like Alma. I'm still somewhere between today and yesterday." The entry for Disturbed is introduced like this Adjective. Someone. Me.  And ends Fuck you for sitting there. Fuck anyone for sitting anywhere. Fuck you for reading this. Don't you have better things to do? That's real to me. It's how I felt for much of my depressed childhood as I hid myself in reading and inventing my own worlds.I bookmarked another dozen passages, but I'll leave them for you to discover. You will love NoNieqa Ramos's writing. Her bio says she "spent her childhood on the Bronx, where she started her own publishing company and sold books for twenty-five cents until the nuns shut her down." I'm glad the nuns lost their grip on her! 
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  • Librariann
    January 1, 1970
    Almost anything terrible that can happen will happen (even if offscreen) in this book. Kidnapping? Prostitution? Dead babies? Foster care? Shootings? Parlorless piercings? Sexual Assault? Starvation?AND MORE. A little overdramatic, but great for fans of truuuuue diary fiction like Go Ask Alice.
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  • Jenny Buchta
    January 1, 1970
    Still currently reading but just had to put in my two cents in regards to people “rating” this novel. I’m just wondering if any of these readers been teachers in an inner city school or if any readers (who gave low ratings to this novel) have ever come in contact with children (yes, children) who behave this way? Life in an urban setting is very scary and this character has (not acclimated to) but grown up in this setting. Thus the manner of writing reflects the character’s environment. Seems li Still currently reading but just had to put in my two cents in regards to people “rating” this novel. I’m just wondering if any of these readers been teachers in an inner city school or if any readers (who gave low ratings to this novel) have ever come in contact with children (yes, children) who behave this way? Life in an urban setting is very scary and this character has (not acclimated to) but grown up in this setting. Thus the manner of writing reflects the character’s environment. Seems like it’s easy to judge when you’ve never experienced this environment, but so far I’m impressed with the accuracy and the overall character development.*edited to 5 stars upon finishing*
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I picked up this book because I wanted to read something outside of my normal genres and I was intrigued by a book written in the format of a dictionary. I appreciate that this could be a good insight into the life of a troubled girl with a very difficult life, but I could not get into it. I can see it making its way onto the reading list for Teen Literature classes in MLIS programs.I received an ARC from NetGalley. It will be published on February 1, 2018.
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  • Mike
    January 1, 1970
    Kirkus Reviews wrote: "...her voice is inimitably unique in contemporary teen literature. The heartbreaking events are almost unbearable, but the author depicts them with authenticity and empathy—even when Macy wields a machete to fix a problem." I couldn't agree more. I laughed and I cried. The Macy Cashmere character is someone I'll never forget.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    Holy cow. This was intense, but not in that bleak, maudlin way a lot of YA is intense? I cannot say I have read anything like this.
  • Kelly Hager
    January 1, 1970
    This starts as almost a comedy. It's not that Macy's life is particularly funny but she has an interesting way of viewing the world and she has this spirit that refuses to be defeated. (Even though her brother has been taken by CPS and her mom veers between neglectful and abusive; even though she only has two friends; even though even though even though.) Then things take a dark turn and this book goes from heroic to heartbreaking. This is a book that will stay with me and Macy is a character I This starts as almost a comedy. It's not that Macy's life is particularly funny but she has an interesting way of viewing the world and she has this spirit that refuses to be defeated. (Even though her brother has been taken by CPS and her mom veers between neglectful and abusive; even though she only has two friends; even though even though even though.) Then things take a dark turn and this book goes from heroic to heartbreaking. This is a book that will stay with me and Macy is a character I will never forget.Highly recommended but go in emotionally prepared.
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  • Tony
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC. This book is not for everyone. The is really only for a select few. It is hard to read because of Ms. Ramos' style and the book is hard to read because the story is so painful. There is no redemption here. I understand that not all books need redemption and terrible thing happen to good people, but at some point Macy needs to make decisions that are not so stupid. She wants to save everyone but herself and that is so hard to witness. I have to say, the fact that Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC. This book is not for everyone. The is really only for a select few. It is hard to read because of Ms. Ramos' style and the book is hard to read because the story is so painful. There is no redemption here. I understand that not all books need redemption and terrible thing happen to good people, but at some point Macy needs to make decisions that are not so stupid. She wants to save everyone but herself and that is so hard to witness. I have to say, the fact that this book ends with Macy planning to go on a murderous rampage and fleeing the country is simply a bridge too far for me.
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  • Nena Kelley
    January 1, 1970
    I've read better fan fiction than this. The stylistic choice (I hope it was a choice and not the author's) to write with terrible grammar and accent pulled me from the story so much that I really don't know what the story was truly about. Very amateur all around.Free copy courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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