This has meaning. Pain. Jul 25, 2008
My mom found this book on a plane. Someone left it there perhaps accidently as they were gathering up their suitcases, or as I prefer to believe, because they finished reading it and wanted others to read about it. That's why I love books so much they are meant to be read, shared, enjoyed. My mom read it and then gave it to me to read. I may leave the book on a park bench or on the beach.
This book reads easy but that does not at all imply that this is a simple book. On the contrary, Anderson discusses the angst of being a young teenager, high school clicks, the inability to conform, losing friends, and loss of communication within families. In all honesty, I read the book in 4 or 5 hours because I couldn't put it down.
Anderson writes with fluid grace. Her style is quick, fluid, sarcastic, witty, and at times haunting. The protagonist, Melinda, hardly says anything. Her parents think she has become mute. They think she is rebelling, as all teenagers do. Their own relationship is a model of dysfunction and waste. Her only outlet is in her art class. Her assignment is simple: she has the whole year to do a project and recreate a tree that emotionally moves everyone. That would be well and fine, except, Melinda checked out emotionally last year. After a certain party. After she "called the cops" for reasons unknown to her friends. She doesn't tell anyone what happened that night, and since then her walls have come up and she feels like ice blocks her throat.
Every teenage girl should read this novel in my opinion. I think everyone can relate to at least one aspect of the book which is why I enjoyed this. I like novels that speak to me in some way and I can relate to it. Melinda has some powerful memories of certain instances that she remembered as a child - like when she was out in the snow - and recalling how life appeared much easier back then. She could talk to people. Clearly, something tragic shook Melinda to her very core at the party and she was suffering from PTSD.
I highly recommend this book to all young people and adults.