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Like the Red Panda

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3.49  ·  Rating details ·  1,242 ratings  ·  115 reviews
Stella Parrish is seventeen, attractive, smart, deeply alienated, and unable to countenance life's absurdities. She is not nihilistic; she is prematurely exhausted. Since her parents OD'd on designer drugs when she was eleven, she has lived with well-meaning but inexperienced foster parents, while her grandfather, her only living relative, tries ever more ingenious ways of ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published April 5th 2004 by Harvest Books
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Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*


S, is for Seigel.

2.5 Stars

I have been dreading writing this review. This review could possibly make me some enemies, but here I go.

I hate Holden Caulfield. Hate him! There is not a single literary character I can think of that I loathe more than that boy. Seriously, I can’t think of a single one! And while I didn’t loathe Catcher in the Rye in its entirety I certainly didn’t like it either. Why am I bringing this up you may ask? I am bringing this up because the main character of Like the Red
...more
Jackie
Aug 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
This was a great book - a well-developed main character carries the story. Full of emotional punch that weaves through the story like a spider's web, pulling all the parts into a whole. Beautiful imagery, also.

I love how this books deals with the topic of suicide, but does not go into over-angsty melodrama. Stella lives a calm, normal day-to-day life, but it is well illustrated how something inside her is just irrepairably broken. It's almost as if she regards herself as a vase or something wit
...more
Angela
Jul 05, 2007 rated it it was ok
It's happened... I've officially become... old? Mature? I don't know...

Just another book about a suicidal teenager and her screwed up life, which, from the prospective of someone approaching 30 more quickly than she'd like to admit, really isn't all that screwed up for a 17/18-year old. Your teen years are supposed to be screwed up. Those who can handle it do so and move on and make it to the quarter-century birthday and beyond. Those who can't... well, they whine and get apathetic and make suic
...more
Alicia
Mar 06, 2008 rated it liked it
This is a compelling read. A teen-lit book, recommended to me by a real-life teen librarian. It's about a Princeton-bound high school senior (Stella) who suddenly stops caring about pretty much everything, from taking exams, to, well, living. Going in, I thought I was in for a kind of lightweight, angsty, coming-of-age story. And I read reviews that said the book was just a laugh a minute. But the not-caring-about-living part sort of stamped out the levity for me. I suspect that, were I a teen t ...more
Sian Lile-Pastore
Dec 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
I was immediately captivated by the narrator's voice:

'This afternoon in drama (I'm taking it because Mrs Amis said I needed to show interest in the arts on my transcript and I can't draw) I was supposed to be throwing a fake beach ball up and down, but I just couldn't do it anymore.'

... and really enjoyed this novel, which is somewhat bleak and unemotional with the odd dash of humour now and again.

Although the story is told by Stella about her life, you don't really get that much of a sense of
...more
Laurel Hechanova
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm kind of jealous that teenagers out there get to have Stella Parrish around while they're in high school. When I finally closed the book, it felt like the end of junior year when my best friend's family got transferred and I knew I'd probably never see her again. Parrish is a great narrator / navigator. And (spoiler? so many other people have already said it) her decision to stop living was made in the most graceful way possible. Seigel isn't recommending it. It's just a conclusion. I thought ...more
Caren
Nov 30, 2009 rated it liked it
“Like the red panda” by Andrea Seigel is pleasurable read. It unfolds the story of a teenage girl’s last two weeks in high school. Unlike other novels, it presents the topic of suicide in a less serious manner. The novel is written in a diary form, the readers will be able to observe things through Stella’s perspective and understand the reasons behind her suicide. The readers could focus more on the character’s internal conflicts.
The protagonist Stella has an attitude, she is very smart; howe
...more
Océlô
May 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Like the Red Panda stunned me - I'm not and have never been used to authors treating the subject of suicide with such empathy and compassion. Actually, I've never encountered any author treating it with more than a self-righteous Moral Main Character line or a cheap plot point. But Andrea Seigel somehow managed to take the life and times - and willful self-annihilation - of a highschool girl and make it something else. Don't kid yourself; the main character, Stella, does kill herself in the end. ...more
Allison
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Despite being about teenage suicide, this book was actually really funny. Stella, the main character, is a witty seventeen year old who has a firm grip on life. She's not depressed or attention-seeking, she's just not thrilled with living. The book is Stella's own account of what happens during the last two weeks of her life, which includes the last few days of senior year, before she's meant to go to Princeton. I was curious to see how new and changed relationships throughout the story might ma ...more
Jill Jacobs
Oct 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Wow....That was the only word in my head when I finished this book. I would definitely recommend this book! I had in my mind how I thought it was going to end and I was no where close to how it really ended. Stella the main character was very intriguing and very deep into her mind much more than you would expect from a high school senior. The book covers the complexities in life and family. Her foster parents have a unique angle of how expectations are not always met.
Meg
Aug 02, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2007
I'm disappointed. I purchased this a couple of years ago and finally got around to reading it. It was billed as the "antidote to 'chick lit'", but to me, it just felt like an worn, unhappy, unnecessarily vain rendition of the angsty early-to-mid 90s Kaysen/Karr/Harrison class of memoir, only fiction.

If you like emo and want my copy, I'll gladly mail it to you.
Holly
May 24, 2007 rated it it was ok
Please note the mention of a Mrs. Simonson. Interesting. The author went to my high school and did I good job and reminding of the bubble that is Irvine.
Shannon
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really don't like to review books I don't like -but.... Stella - 17, two weeks from high school graduation, pretty, smart and already accepted into Princeton, decides that life has no meaning in Irvine, CA. So she decides to commit suicide (not a spoiler - it says so on the back of the book). She has so much - yet feels very disconnected to everyone and everything.

The reader discovers that at Stella's 11th birthday party, both of her parents OD on coke (mixed with heroin). That is literally th
...more
Alison Dawson
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. I love good character development and this book did a great job of that. I loved how she got in a young woman’s mind and also very realistically explored suicide. Unlike some of the other reviewers who felt this was just another book about suicide that it didn’t have anything fresh to offer, I found it very unique. I thought it showed how she got in the place she was in well and with excellent insight into grief and loss that all of us go through when we lose a parent, no matt ...more
Mackenzie
Jan 03, 2018 rated it liked it
It was unlike any book I’ve read about mental illness. It didn’t glorify suicide, or depression. The main character didn’t go on about how sad she was. She was emotionally numb, going through life lifelessly. The author portrayed that very well. The ending kind of screwed me up though. It was good, but I guess I’m still used to the fairy tale happy endings.
Anjum Choudhury
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
well, I knew pretty quickly that I wouldn't like this book, but I read it to the end anyway. honestly comma Stella's character didn't do anything for me. First of all, I can't really complain about her whole stance on the meaninglessness of life comma because that's kind of the point the book comma but it didn't make me feel anything except for disappointed in her, which didn't even get me any good catharsis or anything. beyond that, she wasn't likable at all save for a couple of nice moments wi ...more
Ab
Apr 25, 2010 rated it liked it
This was an 'alright' read. Not the best, but not the worst, either. Maybe my 'not-blown-away' feelings about the book have to do with how real-life the whole setting of the book is (and how much I could regrettably relate and was forced to relive, ughh, high school). The main character, Stella, is within two weeks of graduating high school, and she just sort of gets hit with this wave of apathy and 'done-ness' with the whole getting on with life thing. The book is full of wit, so the subject of ...more
Chris
Mar 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Like the Red Carpet, Strong and Bold
Like the Red Panda By: Andrea Seigel
To tell you the truth, when I first picked up Like the Red Panda by Andrea Seigel, I judged the book by its cover and thought to myself, just another one of those novels on suicide. The typical, “There is no meaning to life so I’m going to end it” kind of book. The thing is, right when I picked up the book, I could not put it down! This intense, deep, and dark book kept me flipping each page thinking what was going to hap
...more
Jordan M
Nov 16, 2010 rated it liked it

My review of Like the Red Panda

What can I say about ‘Like the Red Panda”? I thought this book was heavily depressing as it’s about a girl who wants to commit suicide two weeks before graduating high school. Stella Parrish, the protagonist, is a seventeen year old foster child. Her parents died from a cocaine overdose when she was at the precious age of eleven. Ever since then she has been living with two colourless foster parents and visiting her exuberant yet obnoxious grandfather, Donald—the o
...more
Heidi
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
The voice. I loved her voice. It said all the things we don't say because we think they aren't important, but they are what makes the character relatable. They are the little things the character agonized over and chose to let the the world think she wasn't aware of, because she didn't know how to tell people she registered everything. She got what people wanted her to understand, but was so many steps ahead of them, it was exhausting to play the game of the simple minded and verbalize every nua ...more
Michael.ju
Review of Like the Red Panda

Michael.Ju
Sadness is my first sensation when I finished reading this story. The protagonist of this story is Stella who is an intelligent and smart girl in high school, no one can deny that her childhood is totally a tragedy, she early get involved with drugs, sex, and anything a student ought not have because of her environment of growth, anything that can hurt a teenager’s heart happened on her, terrified marriage of her parents; adopted at the age of eleven by an
...more
Cynthia
This novel is called Like the Red panda which is written by Andrea Seigel. This book is mostly
about a girl called Stella who is a smart high school student, that her parents were both died
and she had to live in a foster home that she didn’t like her foster parents at all and she felt
isolated. And of some motivation she decided to suicide . After finishing this novel, I think that
this book is really good and is my first time to read it. As the story starts , she mentions the
modern life that
...more
Cassandra
Sep 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Characters: Were interesting. I really think the author nailed the quirky teenager attitude. Stella is somebody that I would have liked to meet in high school; somebody that's probably closer to my own self than I would like to admit. The only drawback here is that I would have liked to see more interaction between Stella and Shana/Simon. Shana seems so resentful of Stella, and while they do have that one big blowout in Macy's, I can't believe that Stella didn't feel like digging deeper into Sha ...more
Diane
Jan 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
Stella's utterly unwavering committment to her suicide decision was disturbing to me. I had to wonder about the authenticity of her lack of emotion in pursuing her plan. Regardless of how unhappy and disconnected one is, wouldn't there be a few moments of doubt, or of fear?

One of the most chilling aspects of the book, to me, was Stella' relationship with her foster parents. She went to live with them as an 11-year old girl. Her perspective of them is that they are totally "off" and are completel
...more
P.
Apr 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
I put this on my to-read shelf in 2009. I put in an ILL request for it on July 11th. I started reading it on August 1st, during which time I had been going through all current episodes of a new podcast: The Mystery Show. The episode I was on, "Britney" concerned an author wondering what Britney Spears was doing being photographed with her 2nd book,and what she had thought about it. The author was Andrea Seigel. Serendipity!

I really liked this book. It achieved its effect as far as I could tell,
...more
Sarah
Dec 13, 2008 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sharon Y
Apr 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Sharon by: A librarian
Essentially a narrative of Stella's last 2 weeks in both high school and life, I found this book to be a tad unrealistic. The social alienation that she endures comes off as self imposed and easily correctable if she would put in any effort at all to change her circumstances. Though it isn't made immediately clear of why she wants to go through with suicide, it is obvious that the death of her parents have had a huge impact on her decision. This fact makes the relationship between her and her bo ...more
Engineous
Feb 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: even strangers I met on the street
The book follows a high school girl's life until its deliberate end. Like the Red Panda begins by telling about the deaths of Stella's very affluent parents due to a contaminated batch of cocaine when Stella was nine. For me, it managed not to be overdramatic; others may differ. After this, Stella is adopted by a Jewish couple; her adoptive father is so subtle and deadpan that she's unnerved by him, and she dislikes her adoptive mother because of what seems to be a crippling anxiety disorder.

Wha
...more
Maria
Feb 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebekah A
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
I did not enjoy this book. It follows high school senior Stella Parrish through the last few weeks of school. She has a very promising future ahead of her at Yale or maybe it was Princeton, but during a drama class one day while throwing an invisible beach ball, she decides she doesn't really care. So the rest of the book is about her dawning realization of her apathy and the plans towards ending her life. It goes back through to her past and the death of her drug addicted parents at her 10th bd ...more
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ANDREA SEIGEL is the author of two novels for adults, Like the Red Panda and To Feel Stuff, as well as the YA novel, The Kid Table, and the forthcoming YA novel, Everybody Knows Your Name, co-written with Brent Bradshaw. In September 2014 A24 will release the film Laggies, written by Seigel, directed by Lynn Shelton, and starring Keira Knightley, Chloe Moretz, and Sam Rockwell. She lives in South ...more
“There's nothing essentially romantic about things like roses or jewelry. Romance starts as some blank concept, and then you just fill it in with objects so you have something to point to when you want to make it real.” 10 likes
“You don't ever know how happy you are until you remember how sad you once were and vice versa. Nothing is anything until I decide to hold nothing next to something, and declare that I see a difference.” 5 likes
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