Saturday, September 3, 2011

[Review] Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty

Title: Feeling sorry for Celia {goodreads}
Authors: Jaclyn Moriarty
Publication (dd/mm/yy): 01/01/00
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Source: Swapped
Age: 14+
Pages: 250
My Rating:

Life is pretty complicated for Elizabeth Clarry. Her best friend Celia keeps disappearing, her absent father suddenly reappears, and her communication with her mother consists entirely of wacky notes left on the fridge. On top of everything else, because her English teacher wants to rekindle the "Joy of the Envelope," a Complete and Utter Stranger knows more about Elizabeth than anyone else.

But Elizabeth is on the verge of some major changes. She may lose her best friend, find a wonderful new friend, kiss the sexiest guy alive, and run in a marathon.

So much can happen in the time it takes to write a letter...
My thoughts: 

I love these kinds of books! Feeling Sorry for Celia is written in the form of letters. While this may detach the reader from its characters, it surely was not the case this time. In fact, I loved this book even more for it.

The book doesn't seem to have much direction at the beginning. Elizabeth 'receives' a letter from The Association of Teenagers who declare that she really isn't much of a teenager at all, is she? She has one (best) friend, who is MISSING, and no one else cares because it's just her way; she doesn't rebel or party; basically, she's an embarrassment to teenagerhood. The book follows through with letters from different associations (but of course she's writing the to herself, to mirror how she feels at the time), as well as letters back and forth between several people. The one thing that was lost on me as caused by the letter format, was time. Anyway . . .

Elizabeth was so easy to relate to, so real and honest her voice was. I liked the easygoing nature of the book - I didn't feel the need to sit there on the edge of my seat, gaping at the pages. I didn't need to; I kept coming back to the book anyway. It was almost like I was just sitting down and reading a pile of letters from a stranger, and I could just pick up where I left from at any time.

That's not to say the book wasn't at all exciting, because it certainly was. It's through the connections that were made between me and Elizabeth and her friend (and soon-to-be-friends) and family that I actually cared about what was going to happen next. Whether Celia was going to come home; whether Elizabeth's family would ever be whole again; whether her new pen-pal and her were ever going to meet; and so forth.

The humour and little quirks really shine a light through this book. I cannot count the number of times I smiled or chuckled throughout. The letters exchanged between Elizabeth and Christina . . . it's almost like they could have just been passing notes during class. The relationship between Elizabeth and pretty much everyone she comes into contact with, was so easy to relate back to myself. And yes, there is a romance, and a pretty cute and funny one at that. It did take a backseat among all the other stuff, but it was nice to have another dimension added to the plot.

Basically, what I'm saying is READ IT. This is an Australian novel, but it has been published in the US so you have no excuses. ;)


First lines

"Dear Ms Clarry,
It has come to our attention that you are terrible at being a teenager.


* cheapest Australian e-store price


Fishpond * | Readings | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson | Borders | The Nile


All links from Booko, because I'm too lazy to search each individual store anymore.

I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

Challenge: ---

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