Title: Imperfect Sprial
Author: Debbie Levy 
Publication: July 16th, 2013
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Rating: 5 out 5

Synopsis: Danielle Snyder's summer job as a babysitter takes a tragic turn when Humphrey, the five-year-old boy she's watching, runs in front of oncoming traffic to chase down his football. 

Immediately Danielle is caught up in the machinery of tragedy: police investigations, neighborhood squabbling, and, when the driver of the car that struck Humphrey turns out to be an undocumented alien, outsiders use the accident to further a politically charged immigration debate. Wanting only to mourn Humphrey, the sweet kid she had a surprisingly strong friendship with, Danielle tries to avoid the world around her. Through a new relationship with Justin, a boy she meets at the park, she begins to work through her grief, but as details of the accident emerge, much is not as it seems. It's time for Danielle to face reality, but when the truth brings so much pain, can she find a way to do right by Humphrey's memory and forgive herself for his death?

Review: Imperfect Spiral by Debbie Levy pushes the mental capacity of a teenaged babysitter and carefully reveals her unraveling. Join the main character, Danielle (or Dani for short) as she copes with the loss of the beloved Humphrey, a boy who died as she was looking after him. There to comfort her through this life changing experience is her brother, Adrian, and a mysterious stranger by the name of Justin. As the story unfolds, a relationship develops between her and Justin, and they make an unspoken pact to be there for each other regardless of the circumstance. Dani must come to terms with the fact that the accident could not be blamed, and struggles with this concept throughout the novel. Her intense amount of grief and guilt are vividly detailed throughout the novel, and her ability to recall the happiest of times as a babysitter moves the reader to miss Humphrey almost as dearly as she. The author beautifully portrays a disillusioned anti-hero as she discovers that fellow town members are using his death as a ploy to propose their own selfish changes.

The novel also touches on illegal immigration, as the driver of the car was an illegal immigrant. This is where it gets hairy for me, as there may have been plot holes, but being a novice on the topic I would not have caught it. The idea of intermingling illegal immigration with murder is very intriguing though. These topics raised serious questions over current immigration laws and investigation tactics. The common element of grief is a common state that many go through, making the character’s perils relatable yet still unique on their own. Many grieve over the dead; not all blame themselves.

Insightful and touching, Imperfect Spiral takes you on a Christopher Robin-esque journey into the world through the eyes of a five year old boy and his loving babysitter. Highly recommended.

*Reviewed by Otter

She received a copy of this book for an exchange of an honest review. That in no way has influenced her review.


This sounds like an emotional, heartbreaking story, that does a good job of bringing back happiness to the one who is suffering. That is nice to see!

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What is Twilight?


  1. The soft glowing light from the sky when the sun is below the horizon, caused by the reflection of the sun's rays from the atmosphere.
  2. The period of the evening during which this takes place, between daylight and darkness.
dusk - gloaming - nightfall

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