Maximum Review- Belzhar

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Book: Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Published Date: September 30th, 2014

Pages: 264

Source/Format: Borrowed from the Library || Hardcover


Summary (from Goodreads): 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.

For a quick summary of what I think and if I recommend this book, check out the Final Thoughts section!

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The Secondary Characters

I thought that the secondary characters were so well developed. Honestly, I liked the rest of Special Topics in English more than I liked Jam herself. I thought that Griffin was a really awesome guy and was a totally unexpected favorite. He was really sensitive and intricate character that added a lot to Jam’s development. I really enjoyed hearing Casey’s story. I thought that it was so sad, but hearing how she was coping with her disability was inspiring. DJ was such a fun girl! I loved how even though its never really stated that her and Jam are friends, they totally look out for each other. The secondary characters were essential to moving the story forward and essential to Jam’s development.

The Concept 

The idea of this book is that Jam, our protagonist is sent to a school for “fragile” intelligent students and is put into a special english class with 4 other students where they are reading the works of Sylvia Plath. From there things start to get a little strange, but through journaling and looking our for one another, all of these kids start to come face to face with their issues. It was honestly really beautiful

That Ending!

Oh My Gosh. Can you say plot twist!!?!?!?!?! Chapter 19 (I think) was absolutely ridiculous. Straight up, it was on the same level as the ending of We Were Liars (which I hated btw, but I liked this one a lot!). I loved this so much. It totally added a new dimension to the book about mental health and love and what it means to be truthful. I WILL SAY NO MORE! GO READ IT!

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Jam

Urg. I wanted to like her so much, but I found our dear protagonist to be pretty boring. The things she went through were very interesting to read about, and gave you a little idea of what kind of person she was, but for me that was not enough. We literally have no information about her personality. I still really enjoyed her thoughts though

Indecisiveness 

Everyone in this book was completely unsure of themselves. I didn’t realize it until I finished reading the book, but now looking back it turns me off of purchasing it.

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Belzhar is intense

Some quotes are thought provoking

The end blew my mind

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  • I recommend this book
  • I would not reread or purchase this book though. The indecisiveness of the characters was a little much for me. Plus, I am not Jam’s biggest fan
  • The cover is really cool but has nothing to do with the book.

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Unknown

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Any thoughts about this book? I really want to read some Sylvia Plath now!

Sincerely,

Max

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