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Feeling Sorry for Celia

(Ashbury/Brookfield #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  10,338 ratings  ·  653 reviews
A funny, touching, revealing story written entirely in the form of letters, messages, postcards - and bizarre missives. Hilariously candid, shows that the roller coaster ride of being a teenager is every bit as fun as we remember--and every bit as harrowing.

Life is pretty complicated for Elizabeth Clarry. Her best friend Celia keeps disappearing, her absent father suddenly
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 10th 2002 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published May 1st 2000)
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Molly They aren't really connected, just take place in the same setting so it isn't totally necessary. I think I read them in order only because as they cam…moreThey aren't really connected, just take place in the same setting so it isn't totally necessary. I think I read them in order only because as they came out I bought them, but I don't think any of the story will be affected if you read them in a random order. :) (less)

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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  10,338 ratings  ·  653 reviews

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Feb 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Flannery by: SCB TBR Challenge - Olivia (Aug-1)

Like the other Jaclyn Moriarty book I read recently (Finding Cassie Crazy), this is written in epistolary format and includes letters, the backs of postcards, and random notes. The notes from Elizabeth’s mother were probably my favorite bits as they all started in a similar way to how I started this review (HERE IS A NOTE!!! RIGHT NEXT TO THE REFRIGERATOR!!! ) and her mother would give her topics to think on and/or discuss—what she think
Dear US readers,

Do not be alarmed by how accessible this book is to people living in the States. This does not diminish the awesomeness that we've come to expect from Australian authors. Nor do you have to jump through hoops or swim through the rings of Fishpond hell to get it!

This book is a series of letters to and from Elizabeth Clarry. Her new English teacher decides to revive the Lost Art of Letter Writing and has his students write letters to the rival high school. Elizabeth's penpal ends u
Written in letter form, Feeling Sorry for Celia by Aussie author Jaclyn Moriarty is so completely different it’s delightful. With Elizabeth’s English teacher getting the students to write to a Complete and Utter Stranger, Elizabeth becomes friendly with Christine. Their letters back and forth are funny, light-hearted and filled with teenage angst.

With Celia, Elizabeth’s best friend missing, eventually turning up at a circus, the postcards to Elizabeth (who she calls Lizzy) get progressively mor
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is such a lovely read! I know the other sister (Liane) is the one whose books are being made into movies but I think Jaclyn's books are fantastic too.
Feeling Sorry for Celia is quirky and clever. It is written for young adults but it never talks down to them and is perfectly readable for any age group. As the reader we do feel sorry for Celia but the main character is Elizabeth and she is remarkable. The relationship between her and her mother is unusual but it works and is always entertain
Dear Reader:

You are probably wondering whether or not you should read Feeling Sorry for Celia. I know this about you because you're reading this review of the book, which is supposed to tell you whether or not you should read it. If you think about it, this makes book reviewers pretty arrogant people.

Like I should know you well enough to know if this book is any good for you. Who am I? A complete stranger. Yes, a slightly clever stranger who reads lots of books, but still a stranger.

In my opi
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship




Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie
Feeling Sorry for Celia is hilarious, heartfelt, and an absolute delight. Moriarty's specialty seems to be novels told in an epistolary form and her talent comes alive in this novel. Elizabeth, the protagonist of our tale, begins a written correspondence with Christina, a girl from a neighboring school, that soon blossoms into a tight friendship. The titular Celia is Elizabeth's best friend since childhood, a wild spirit who is constantly running away from home. Like Moriarty's latest, A Corner ...more
Jun 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommended to Tatiana by: E. Lockhart
Shelves: ya, 2010, aus-nz
"Feeling Sorry for Celia" is Moriarty's debut novel and the second book I've read by this author. Looking back, I probably should have read this book first, before "The Year of Secret Assignments," because they both are set in the same "world," have common characters, and reading "Feeling Sorry for Celia" first would have probably helped me to understand events in the second novel better. However, these two books are not a part of a series, they are completely independent novels, so reading them ...more
Aug 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Raring 4.5

Now I must get my hands on book two ...*sigh* Aussie authors are more difficult to find ... and by default the prices are always higher (for what I paid for four Marchetta's books and the two of Ms Moriarty, I could have bought twelve books by US or British authors)... *sigh*... but so worth it. Damn it!

Dear Ms Moriarty,

We are pleased to inform you, we loved your book, great work!

Yours truly,

The Association of Happy Readers

We would be also thrilled to here news regarding a publi
Jan 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Feeling Sorry For Celia was one of those books which took me a while to get into as its not written in your typical format, but in the form of letters, notes and postcards between characters. However once I got a feel for the style of writing, I found myself zipping through the pages. Feeling sorry for Celia tells the story of Elizabeth, whose dealing with the ups and downs of being a teenager; her spontaneous friend Celia has gone missing, Celia’s mum thinks that this is perfectly normal, her d ...more
Jun 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a new favorite.
Dec 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dear Reader,

This review also appears on Reading with Jenna.

Despite what the title suggests, this book is not about Celia. This novel follows the life of Elizabeth Clarry, a 15 year old high school student from Sydney. Her mother is a bit flighty and neglectful, her father who left her mother before Elizabeth was born has now moved back to Sydney from Toronto, and her best and only friend, Celia, has gone missing. Her high school starts a pen pal system with a nearby school and Elizabeth develops
Aug 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, own, 2010, aussie-lit
As the title suggests, Elizabeth Clarry is truly worried about her best friend Celia. The pair have been inseparable ever since they were tiny but lately Celia has been acting strange - even for the unpredictable Celia. She's run away (again) and Elizabeth doesn't know who to confess her fears to: not her mom, who stays busy with work and only communicates with Elizabeth through post-its on the fridge (albeit hilarious post-its); not her father who has suddenly reappeared in her life and who wou ...more
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, 2013
The cover's horrible. Don't look at it. If ever there were a case of "don't judge a book by its cover" this is it.

I love this author. This is the second book of hers I've tried, and I'm sure I'll be polishing off the rest of this series before the end of the year.

I guess I started them out of order, but I don't think it matters. This one focuses on Elizabeth Clarry (also a character in The Murder of Bindy MacKenzie) and is told through notes and letters, including imaginary letters from various
Tara Calaby
I've been saving Moriarty's contemporary novels because I knew I'd like them (my mind works in strange ways) and today I needed a sure bet, so I grabbed this one from the bookcase. I wasn't disappointed. This has a great voice and some good things to say about friendship. I'm a sucker for epistolary writing, so that was right up my alley, although I wasn't as big on the imaginary letters from the various made-up societies, and that's where that one star was lost. Regardless, a fun and easy read.
Nov 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I did not expect to love this novel as much as I did. Jaclyn Moriarty is officially one of my favorite authors. I couldn't put Feeling Sorry for Celia down. I loved the characters and the epistolary style. I loved the slightly dramatic yet honest plot that kept me guessing. I loved how it was funny yet ever so serious.
I really loved Elizabeth and her relationship with Christina. Lets face it, I love any wacky, long distance(ish) friendship done right. Its basically the story of my life.
The sto
Steph Su
Apr 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Clarry is not your average private school teenage girl. In fact, she’s anything but. Her favorite hobby is long-distance running. She communicates with her mom through notes left on the refrigerator. Her one and only friend is Celia Buckley, who has a bad habit of running away for weeks at a time.

In the midst of Celia’s latest escapade, Elizabeth’s English teacher sets up a pen-pal project with the public school down the road. The last thing Elizabeth wants to do is to be forced to com
Oct 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: youth
4.5 stars, really. I have no idea where I got the rec for this book, but I have such mad love for it. It's written in the snarky smart tone I associate with fanfic and love so much. It's completely epistolary - Elizabeth is mainly writing notes to her mother via the fridge and letters to a penpal at a neighborhood school, and receiving letters from the same and also from such (mental) organizations as "The Association of Teenagers" (who firmly believe she has no right to call herself a teen and ...more
Difficult... the first third was a drag.. I was bored most of the time and also very confused about these strange Society and Association letters.. (obviously there here to get us readers more information about Elizabeth's day but it's strange and lazy nonetheless). Luckily it got better with time, enjoyable and also a bit exciting. All in all an okay read but nothing more. I won't continue with the Ashbury/Brookfield pen pal series that's for sure.
Jun 13, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
"Maybe a rocking motion makes you think deep and philosophical thoughts? I wonder if that means babies are always lying in their cradles being rocked and working out the meaning of life? They probably are you know, and it's completely wasted because they can't talk."
May 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Reread this, and not sure if it was the time or not, but I wasn't as totally taken with it this time, though it is still funny and is a lot less slight than it appears.
Aug 28, 2011 rated it liked it
If this book was a person, I would send them a letter with an orange Smartie taped to the bottom of them. Because they taste the bestest.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a cute book! Felt very middle school to me, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. Specifically, I really liked how it was written. There was no narrative. It was written completely in letters. Letters between the main character and her mom, her best friend, her penpal, her secret admirer, etc. You get to read the letters and keep up with her life. What makes it great is that letters force the author to only stick to essential details and not random facts, which basically means the entire book ...more
Dear Feeling Sorry for Celia,

I hope this letter finds you well. How are you enjoying the view from my bookshelf? I’ll jump straight to the point: I very much enjoyed reading you. In fact, you were one of my favourite books of 2013 (I originally wrote ‘of the year’ before realising it is now 2014).

To be honest, (and please don’t take this too personally) I was kind of scared to pick you up at first. You see, all my other blogger friends had already read you and they loved you with your charming m
Cass -  Words on Paper
5/5 (will be a mini-ish review on the blog sometime in the future)

I love these kinds of books! Feeling Sorry for Celia is written in the form of letters. While this may detach the reader from its characters, it surely was not the case this time. In fact, I loved this book even more for it.

The book doesn't seem to have much direction at the beginning. Elizabeth 'receives' a letter from The Association of Teenagers who declare that she really isn't much of a teenager at all, is she? She has one (b
Dear Lauren,
Didn't Elizabeth's dog die when she went on a trip? Think about that next time you go anywhere.
Love, your beloved Chihuahua Seamus

Feeling sorry for Celia was a lovely book about the complications of relationships. Elizabeth Clarry's teacher has assigned them to write to kids from another school to rediscover the joys of letters in envelopes.
This book was in it's own way hearkening back to a time where everyone wasn't texting while talking to someone else. The book was published in 20
Sep 04, 2010 rated it liked it
It’s good to know up front that this book is told entirely in letters. It’d be hard to get into otherwise, and it would be a shame to miss.

Elizabeth endures her English teacher’s enthusiasm for the Joy of the Envelope and writes to a Complete and Utter Stranger at a neighboring school. The Complete and Utter Stranger, Christina, turns out to share and enjoy Liz’s wonky outlook and have issues of her own to write about. Their correspondence is like having a diary that relates back and asks for ad
Mar 11, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where do I start? Not even the quirkiest antics out of Celia could dampen my enthusiasm for the letters between Elizabeth, Christina, her mother and even some of those from the obnoxious (imaginary) associations, of teenagers, best friends and what have you. But I’ll be frank, for a sixteen year old, Elizabeth sure did sound young, and between her and Christina, I much preferred the latter whose own stories felt more full and more rounded.

I suppose I’d built this up in my head way too much. Yup
Jan 31, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who liked Paper Towns but welcome a dose of humour and a splash of real teenagerdom
Re-read in 2015, because reading "Cloudwish" by Fiona Wood kindled an inexplicable craving for a big helping of Jaclyn Moriarty.

I still love it. I probably love it even more than I did five(?!) years ago.

And I find it noteworthy, that I remembered all those funny, but also bittersweet, fridge memos by Elizabeth's ever absent mum, but forgot all those heartbreaking moments between Liz and Christina, all those deflating, criticizing letters Elizabeth writes to herself in the name of invented adv
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. YA novel of two girls that are penfriends [s] 6 56 Nov 30, 2016 02:45PM  

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Jaclyn Moriarty is an Australian writer of young adult literature.

She studied English at the University of Sydney, and law at Yale University and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where she was awarded a PhD.

She is the younger sister of Liane Moriarty. She was previously married to Canadian writer Colin McAdam, and has a son, Charlie. She currently lives in Sydney.

Other books in the series

Ashbury/Brookfield (4 books)
  • The Year of Secret Assignments (Ashbury/Brookfield, #2)
  • The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie (Ashbury/Brookfield, #3)
  • The Ghosts of Ashbury High (Ashbury/Brookfield, #4)

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6 likes · 1 comments
“I hope you feel better today. Please ring me at work if you are dead.” 83 likes
“She's always getting into trouble because she gets bored really really easily. [...]
My mum says it's because Celia has an attention span the size of a sesame seed.
Celia's mum says it's because Celia's identity is unfurling itself slowly, like a tulip bud, and it's a breathtakingly beautiful thing to see.”
More quotes…