Meghan's Reviews > Feeling Sorry for Celia

Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty
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Jan 25, 2016

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bookshelves: young-adult, realistic-fiction, epistolary
Read in August, 2009

I read this book because it was the only book of Jaclyn Moriarty's that I hadn't read yet. (If you're interested, The Year of Secret Assignments, The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie and The Spell Book of Listen Taylor are also good books by the same author.) Anyways, this is actually the first book that Moriarty wrote. My reading it last was a total coincidence.

Now, before you read this book, you should know the style that it's written in. It is told completely through notes, pen pal letters, postcards and notices from from imaginary groups such as "The Cold Hard Truth Association" and "The Young Romance Society". These imaginary groups help to express the main character, Elizabeth Clarry's, inner thoughts and feelings. The Year of Secret Assignments and The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie are written very similarly, with notebooks and diaries and letters and memos telling the story. This may sound difficult to believe, but it is in fact very easy to follow the story, even with Moriarty's unique way of telling it.

Now, to explain what the story is about. Elizabeth Clarry's English teacher at Ashbury High School has decided to start a pen pal program with Brookfield High School, a public school down the street. Elizabeth writes a letter to a complete stranger and gets a reply from a girl named Christina. The two develop a friendship through their letters. In the meantime, Elizabeth's best friend Celia has run away once again, and nobody has heard from her. Her dad, who left her and her mother when she was just a baby to marry a Canadian, is living in Sydney for the year and trying to come back in her life. And above all, Elizabeth starts questioning many things about her life, such as her friendship with Celia and her lack of a boyfriend. Through her letters with Christina, Elizabeth learns more about herself.

Now, I definitely enjoyed this book. It was a quick read (I started it one evening and was finished with it the next), and that was just what I was looking for. However, I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as Moriarty's other works. But that is unfair, because this was her first work, and it's really only normal that her writing would improve with time. Obviously, you shouldn't read this book if you don't think you'd be interested in the style. But if you're a teenage girl looking for a fun and easy read, this is definitely a good book for you to check out. Oh, and while you're at it, check out Moriarty's other books. They're sure to keep you entertained.
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