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YMMV / Lola Rose

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Does Jake really only care about the lottery money or did he really like Nikki? We only really see his actions from Jayni's viewpoint, who is understandably biased. Jake may well have appreciated the money and gifts, but then, he is a poor art student. He does seem to care about Nikki's wellbeing, insisting she go see a doctor and making an effort to visit her in hospital. Jayni calls him out on him 'abandoning' her mother when she needs him, but as Jayni herself stated earlier, the guy is only twenty years old. He's a student, has no income of his own, is little more than a kid himself and is in no way financially or emotionally equipped to cope with being in a long-term relationship with an emotionally damaged woman and a father figure to her two young children.
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  • Fridge Horror: If Nikki had died of cancer, the kids wouldn't just have lost their mother, but they may have ended up back with Jay, their abusive father. Barbara would probably have fought tooth and nail to get custody of the kids, but there's no guarantee she would've been given custody and the kids could well have ended up in care too.
  • Moral Event Horizon: If he hadn't crossed it in the third chapter when he punches his own daughter across the face for calling him out, Jay certainly does later when he threatens and tries to hit his estranged wife for being with another man - in front of their kids and whilst Nikki is recovering from breast cancer surgery.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The very real threat of Jay tracking the family down is present throughout much of the novel. Jayni often finds herself looking over her shoulder in public and panicking if she so much as sees a man who looks like her father. On one occasion, whilst home alone, Jayni imagines all kinds of scenarios in which a man (hinted to be representative of Jay) breaks into their flat and lurks in the rooms or goes after her brother, prompting her to run around checking the entire flat, and even going to the end of the drive to make sure.
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  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Although it's listed as being for 'older readers', Lola Rose is still technically a children's book and possibly one of the straightest examples of this trope in Wilson's works. In addition to featuring a ton of Adult Fear and Nightmare Fuel, the book also has blatant scenes of domestic violence and rather graphic descriptions (for a kid's book) of injuries Nikki sustains from beatings. It has a few allusions to sex or implied sex and the second half deals very explicitly with The Topic of Cancer, including the main protagonist's mother almost dying.
  • The Woobie: Jayni. She grows up in an abusive home, then goes on the run, gets Promoted to Parent, is constantly paranoid her father will come after them and then has to cope with her mother getting cancer. And on top of that, she has rather poor self-esteem, constantly second-guessing herself or putting herself down. Case in point, after her father punches her in the jaw, she states her teeth feel funny and worries they're going to drop out. She then thinks that this might not be such a bad thing, as they'll make her "fat" face look thinner. Did we mention this a ten/eleven year old kid?


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