Summary, straight from the back of the book:
What's wrong with me?
What kind of girl wants to kiss every boy at a funeral, wants to maul a guy in a tree after making out with her (dead) sister's boyfriend the previous night?
Speaking of which, what kind of girl makes out with her sister's boyfriend at all?
I LOVED IT. With all of my little heart.
So, here's why I thought this book was so awesome:
1. Lennie Walker, the protagonist. By about five pages into the book I felt as if we'd been best friends since forever. That's how great the characterisation is.
2. The romance. SO WONDERFUL. This may be ironic, considering my last post about how not all girls are boy-obsessed, but I felt like Jandy Nelson carved out a realistic character with so many other facets (Heathcliff obsession, poet, crazy pot plant doppelganger) and the boy-crazy was just one tiny element of Lennie that was taking precedent during this phase of her life. Because teenagers are horny.
Plus I found Joe Fontaine absolutely swoon worthy. And I don't swoon for many characters (I think this list is limited to Gilbert Blythe, Jonathan from Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness Quartet and now, Joe Fontaine).
3.The way grief was sketched in this book was amazing. Jandy Nelson's images were so visceral, so real, particularly in the poems.
4. Prose. I already mentioned the incredibly imagery that brought the grief of this protagonist (whose lost her sister) alive in my heart and mind, but there's also the matter of voice. I thought it was masterful. I could HEAR Lennie speaking.
I actually didn't intend to write a review for this book. I just wanted to read it, because I'd heard great things about. But I finished it last night/morning (it was 1am) and I haven't been able to get it out of my head since. You know a book is good when it keeps you up until midnight and you KNOW a book is good when you're still thinking about it the next day.
Basically: I LOVED THIS BOOK. SO MUCH.
On the OWL scale? O for Outstanding. Most definitely.