Gem & Dixie (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Zarr has captured the realistic push-pull of all relationships. Even when you know a relationship might be toxic, your loved ones still pull you to them. They can have that gravitational force from which you can't seem to break free. 

This book is all about relationships. The relationship between sisters, Gem and Dixie, the relationships between the girls and their parents, the relationship Gem has with the school psychologist and so on. But mostly, it is about Gem and Dixie. Told from Gem's point of view, this is heartbreaking and yet has hope. Give it to lovers of Gayle Forman, John Green and Sarah Dessen.

— Librarian, Chatfield Senior High, Littleton, CO

Terrific story of a girl who endures her parents' alcoholism and drug abuse, abandonment, and poverty. She reaches out to a trusted adult at school who helps her to see herself as a survivor. Her relationship to her sister has bound her to her dysfunctional family, but she realizes that to break free from their abuse, she has to let go of her sister and take care of herself.

— Librarian, Golden High School, Golden, CO


"A story that broke my heart and put it back together again. You won't want to let Gem and Dixie go." --Sarah Dessen, New York Times bestselling author of Saint Anything

From renowned author and National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr comes a deep, nuanced, and gorgeously written story about the complex relationship between two sisters from a broken home.

Gem has never known what it is to have security. She's never known an adult she can truly rely on. But the one constant in her life has been Dixie. Gem grew up taking care of her sister when no one else could: not their mother, whose issues make it hard for her to keep food on the table, and definitely not their father, whose intermittent presence is the only thing worse than his frequent absence.

Even as Gem and Dixie have grown apart, they've always had each other.

When their dad returns home for the first time in years and tries to insert himself back into their lives, Gem finds herself with an unexpected opportunity: three days with Dixie--on their own in Seattle and beyond.

But this short trip soon becomes something more, as Gem discovers that that to save herself, she may have to sever the one bond she's tried so hard to keep.

"A complex and gripping story centered around the relationship of two sisters from a broken home. This book was so meaningful and realistic" (from the review, which named Gem and Dixie one of the best books of 2017).

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062434593
ISBN-10: 0062434594
Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Publication Date: April 4th, 2017
Pages: 288
Language: English