Nov 28, 11
Read from November 28 to 29, 2011
First of all, it was extremely difficult to find this book here on Goodreads, because of the name change! Now I finally have found it, here's my review.
I loved this story! Normally something as kooky as writing letters and emails to describe a story would have annoyed me, but I found myself eagerly flipping the pages, as intent on the story as with any other. The letters between the characters were really effective in showing their characters, from their silly moments to the deep dark secrets they shared.
I can't imagine what would have happened if we had written to any of the schools we were rivals with. Yes, my school had more than one rivalry. We were major rivals with the other public school on the other side of the town, and minor rivals with every other private school, but couldn't compare ourselves fully because they had crazy things like their own junior army and an indoor swimming pool. We also, once a year, had a fierce rivalry when one of three big towns in our area hosted a sporting competition in which all three towns were involved. This made each school hate the other, understandably, especially if your school lost a lot, or lost the last event of the day (rugby union). I don't think I would have been friendly with anyone then!
But these girls discover so much more with their new penpals. Lydia and Emily get on great with their pen pals, but Cassie, poor Cassie, ends up with a dud who insults and threatens her. Reading the nuances throughout are really good at this point, and I can't not give away the story line if I describe even a small part, but suffice to say it is well written and so interwoven that argh! I don't have words. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments, and I can't even picture being at one of these schools, the girls are so daring (I could never bring myself to skip even one class, we had a roll call at the start of each lesson anyway)
Anyway, all I can say is this story is great, and made me think of my own school years. This is the sort of book I would have liked reading as a teenager, it doesn't have that staid feel of a book your teacher would force you to read (maybe because of the references to drugs, cancer and sex would probably get the teacher in trouble) It is fresh, funny and exciting, and the characters are great! The idea of boys, and boys, writing letters, is the only oddity there; most males I know have no idea a pen can be used for anything other than throwing at people to get their attention or something.
Recommend, recommend, recommend! Now why aren't you reading this awesome book right at this minute?