Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde Summary Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Allie and Bea

Plot Summary Part 4

In what is supposed to be a dramatic scene, Bea shows up in court. Bea cares about Allie! She really cares! Look at this tremendous personality change! She shows she cares about someone else! We are supposed to be tremendously inspired by this.

Anyway, Allie gets put in a foster home. She immediately complains about the food.

Sometime later, Allie's Mom gets out of jail and Allie gets to go home. Allie brings Bea home with her like she's found a stray dog at the dog pound, and insists Bea live with them because Bea helped her avoid becoming a child prostitute. Allie's Mom isn't crazy about having an old smelly woman living in her house but Allie guilt trips her Mom and Bea gets to stay. The very first thing Allie does is to order Bea to take a bath, because she smells really bad.

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And they lived happily and smellily ever after.

The end.

Literary Criticism:

I had a number of problems with this book.  The main characters were thoroughly unlikeable. Bea allowed herself to be scammed out of her savings and wasn't responsible enough to even have much in the way of savings. Then, instead of going on welfare or going to a homeless shelter, she decided to steal from other people. I had more sympathy for Allie's situation, but every time she whined about being a vegan and demanding special privileges I wanted her to get eaten by a lion (one who is definitely not a vegan.)

The first half of the book, at least, had some action adventure. You wanted to keep reading to find out how Bea would scam people next and to see if she got caught. You wanted to keep reading to see how Allie would cope with the abusive foster kids and how she would escape from the child prostitute ring.

But after the two met, the book settled into boringsville as they took a long road trip up the coast. We are supposed to believe that profound changes in Bea occurred. Look, she talked about being in debt! Look, she talked to strangers at a bar! But really, these changes were very small potatoes, dramatically speaking, and the second half of the book ran out of steam. And the major events were not so major either. So what they went to an aquarium. And they saw the far northwest coastline. They said it was so special. Why was it so special? The author didn't have the skill to make it special for the reader.

Finally when Allie brought Bea home it felt like they were adopting an old doggie from an animal shelter.

The story would have been much more interesting if Allie and Bea had settled on a life of crime and then, on the verge of being caught by the police, Allie and Bea drove over the Grand Canyon like Thelma and Louise. Heh heh heh.

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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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