My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jam’s boyfriend died. Unable to cope, she’s sent to the Wooden Barn were she’s entered into Special Topics English. And there, she discovers Belzhar.
Okay, wow. So, I bought this book late 2014, but for some reason never got around to reading it. So when I got a duplicate book in the Quarterly box curated by Beth Revis, I was once again reminded about this book and why it intrigued me so much and now I finally got around to it.
So what’s to like about this story?
Everything It’s about Jam and about the friends she meets at the Wooden Barn. With rep for both disabled people, people of colour, lgbtqa+, and mental illnesses, it should have been a heavy book. But Meg Wolitzer somehow makes it work for the YA crowd. Don’t get me wrong, it still tackle these problems, but through adolescent eyes. Without the judgemental undertones that sometimes peeks through in other books about disabilities.
So why only four stars? Because I’m
unfortunately not a teenager anymore, it was hard to succumb to the hormone-induced thoughts and feelings of the main character.