Review

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer - No Spoiler Review | I didn't think writing could be this beautiful

July 13, 2015

Title: Belzhar
Author: Meg Wolitzer
Standalone Novel
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: September 30th 2014
Format Read: Hardcover
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Adults
Rating: ★★★★★
If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be  at home in New Jersey with her sweet British  boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She’d be watching old comedy sketches with him. She’d be kissing  him in the library stacks. She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English. But life isn’t fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead. Until a journal-writing assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, where the untainted past is restored, and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss.

The only reason I picked this book up is because a librarian recommended it to me and I am so happy she did. I absolutely adored this book! The writing was great, the story was so interesting and unique and the characters were all likeable. How could you not want to read about a journal that erases your biggest sorrows for a certain amount of time?

Jam was a good character. She was really suffering from loss and depression, and she thought that going to a school for people with "fragile" minds would not help her at all but she was pleasantly surprised. She had some friends back home who abandoned her too. Obviously, she was dealing with a whole lot of things at the same time. I enjoyed seeing how she dealt with her loss.

It was fun to read about everyone else at the Wooden Barn too! DJ was a weird roommate and it was really funny seeing all her quirky jokes an adventurous stunts. Sierra and Casey were great friends to Jam and the whole "Special Topics in English" class (Sierra, Casey, Griffin and Matthew) were great characters to read about. It was intriguing to see them all become a close-knit group of buddies.

Let's move on to the journal. All the students in the class are given these journals, and whenever they write in them, they get to go back before the life-changing event which depressed them happened and stay there for a while. They get to pretend it never happened. It was so intriguing finding out what everyone's big incident was and how they felt when they went back to before it happened. Meg Wolitzer incredible writing really helped bring that unique story to life, and I could almost imagine myself writing and that journal and going back.

Overall, Belzhar was a captivating and riveting read and I definitely recommend that you read it. It will probably have the same effects on you that it had on me. Definitely one of my new favourites.

If you've read this book, please tell me your thoughts in the comments!
-Rekha

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