Friday, October 21, 2011

Zelah Green Review

Author: Vanessa Curtis
Release Date: October 1, 2011 (In US.)
Pages: 250 (Paperback)
Publisher: Egmont
Most Appropriate For Ages: 12+
Where I Got It: For review from publicist

My Name is Zelah Green and I'm a cleanaholic.

I spend most of my life running away from germs. And dirt. And people. And I'm just about doing okay and then my stepmother packs me off to some kind of hospital to live with a bunch of strangers. It's stuck in the middle of nowhere. Great.

There's Alice who's anorexic. Caro who cuts herself. Silent Sol who has the cutest smile. And then there's me.
I was so excited to read Zelah Green when I read that description. I mean, who wouldn't be? But when I saw it's size (HUGE font, small pages) I became nervous. How could the author possibly develop the story and unique characters in that short amount of time? Luckily, I shouldn't have worried.

So I have a fascination with mental institutions, which is actually what drew me to this novel in the first place. The people you could meet and the entire experience just sounds like it would make a great book to me. ...Yeah, I know it's still weird. But Zelah Green definitely satisfied my craving for this type of book. Without spoiling the novel for you too much, let me just say that the institution is a different type of one than I'd imagined, and I loved it.

Zelah has severe OCD, which I know very little about besides what I've seen on Monk. But Zelah Green manages to keep the wit and humor that a wonderful protagonist has even though she's sick and going through some other stuff on top of it. Experiencing the story through her eyes is fantastic. Her voice manages to keep this story mildly light-hearted and fun, despite the side character's dark pasts that are revealed to us at different times throughout the book. Because of this, things are not usually spelled out for us, and I actually would've liked them once or twice.

Zelah Green was unique, grabbing, and fast. It's a great way to spend an afternoon.

Plot: Grabbing and different.
Characters: Exciting and different.
Writing: Very good, Zelah's voice really shines.
Ending: I'm interested to see what will happen in the sequel...
Kind Friendly? There was a bit of swearing, and mentions to abuse, death, anorexia, cutting, and (I'm pretty sure) rape.
Should I read it? Contemporary fans cannot go wrong with this one.

Side-note: Why is the UK so much more environmentally and ethically responsible than the US? EgmontUK put a page in the back of Zelah Green, saying how their press was dedicated to providing fair conditions for the workers that helped make the paper and other products needed to make the book, as well as being as sustainable as possible. US publishers: take note, cause this NEEDS to be a thing here.

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to reading this one. I agree with you about the US needing to practice more sustainable methods of oh, everything.


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