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Book Review: Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty


Pssst! This is my first blogged book review, so it probably sucks. 





 Feeling Sorry for Celia is a bittersweet novel written by the wonderful Jaclyn Moriarty. It was published in 2000 by Pan Macmillan.







The Blurb
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…

The First Page
Dear Ms. Clarry,
It is with great pleasure that we invite you to join our Society.
We have just found out about your holiday. It is so impressive!
You had four assignments, an English essay, and a chapter of math to do. And you didn’t do one single piece of homework!
Fabulous!
Also, we have a feeling that you have a history test today. And you’re trying to study now? On the bus? With the Brookfield boys climbing onto each other’s shoulders to get to the emergency roof exit? And with Celia about to get on the bus at any moment? And you think that’s going to make a difference!!!
That’s really amusing, Elizabeth. We like you for it.
You’re perfect for your Society and we’re very excited about having you join.
Yours sincerely,
The Manager
The Society of People Who Are Definitely Going to Fail High School (and Most Probably Life as Well!)


I’d do a summary here, but I suck at those. A lot. I never know how much to reveal. So I say, GO READ THE BOOK NOW, then come back and read the rest of this. But, you Escapists are a curious bunch, so I know that won’t fly well. *sigh*
Let’s talk about the amazing-ness that is this book.


Reasons Why I Love This Book to Mars.
This book is written ENTIRELY from letters and notes and e-mails. Jaclyn Moriarty is an expert at doing this, and the way she weaves in the information and how Elizabeth feels about everything is truly astounding. I admire her greatly.

Elizabeth is a long distance runner, and her reason why she loves it so is really awesome in my opinion. She loves long distance because she loves the moment when she can finally stop running.

She gets letters from made-up organisations that express her insecurity. They’re scattered all through the book. From Societies like the one mentioned in the First Page, and other fictional organisations like the Association of Teenagers, the Best Friends Club and The Society of High School Runners Who Aren’t Very Good At Long Distance Running but Would Be if they Just Trained, these tell her that basically she’s failing life.

Celia is a really, really weird girl who’s still kind of lovable, even though you want to bash her in the head with a sledgehammer sometimes. She took apart Elizabeth’s  kitchen just so she could put it back together, and shaved her head, just because she felt like it. So no one really finds it weird when she runs off. Except when she doesn’t return.

Saxon (Elizabeth’s sexy running partner who gallantly offers himself to help search for Celia. Talk about sweet!) stands up for old ladies on the bus. He’s so damn good. Smart and funny and kind and too beautiful to be interested in Elizabeth.

Elizabeth’s mother is the best mum I’ve ever been introduced to in fiction (tied with the mum from Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta). She’s quirky, she’s funny, she works at an advertising agency and asks Elizabeth what she thinks of the colour white and purple lipstick.

THERE’S A MYSTERIOUS BOY THAT WRITES CUTE (although a bit confusing) NOTES TO ELIZABETH AND SLIPS THEM INTO HER BAG WHEN SHE’S NOT LOOKING.
*gasps*
HE’S SO GOSH DARN CUTE.
But I’m not telling you anymore about him.

Elizabeth’s father makes me laugh to high heaven. Well, not him, but Elizabeth’s commentary and way she view her father when he has her sniffing wine.
Actually, this whole book has me laughing until I’m gasping for air.

This book is, without a doubt, a book I will never tire of.
Feeling Sorry for Celia has three companion books, all of which follow the Asbury-Brookfield Pen Pal Project. These also are totally and completely awesome. The next one after this is Calling Cassie Crazy.
I rate this book a million stars.


^ See? ^ 


Awards
§  Winner in 2001 of the Ethel Turner prize
§  A Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Book
§  A BookSense 76 Pick
§  An American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults
§  A White Ravens selection
Critic’s Think…
The Sunday Telegraph in the United Kingdom: “Altogether funnier, cleverer and more wide-ranging than others of its genre.”
 The Sunday Age in Australia: “It’s Moriarty’s skillful use of humour that prevents Feeling Sorry for Celia from being just a bleak, angst-ridden tale about blackheads and oily hair. It is full of drama, grief, confusion, yearning, desire, and letters and Post-It-Notes…. A lot happens – some good things, quite a few sad – but the characters have a depth and complexity that make them credible portraits of today’s teenagers.”

READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT !!!


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