Posted in The 12 Books of Christmas Break

12 Books of Christmas Break 2015 – Belzhar

Hey hey there blog fans,

Sorry I’m never on here anymore. Grad school full time + teaching full time + attempting to have a life = no time for writing on the blog.

Like, at all.

However, I’ve decided that I’m going to revisit last year’s goal of reading 12 books over Christmas break – I even checked out like 20 from various libraries so that I’d have a selection to choose from. One thing I am changing, though, is that I’m considering this my Christmas break from graduate school, not the measly 2 weeks I get off from work – so I have until January 19 to make this happen.

So, here we go with #1

From Amazon.

Title: Belzhar
Author: Meg Wolitzer
Genre: Young Adult fiction
Erin’s teaser synopsis: Jam is sent to a school for “fragile students” after tragedy strikes her beautiful teenage romance and she just can’t seem to bounce back from it. Once there, she’s put into a “Special Topics in English” class, where she discovers that sometimes, writing is not all that it seems. Through journeys into a place her class names Belzhar, she begins to come to grips with the way her new life will have to be and starts developing friendships and moving on – even if she’s not quite ready for it all.
Why I relate to it: Everyone has those times when things happen – things that change the way your life works, and sometimes who you are, and sometimes, you need to make a change yourself to deal with it.
Judgement call: I can honestly say that I’ve never fully hated a character because I felt betrayed by them as much as I hate Jam. Normally, when there’s a little something off, I notice it right away, because the author drops hints. But in this case, not so much. Which led to my hatred of her starting precisely on page 216. Do I like the book? Yeah, okay. But the way that the main character was handled? Nope. And to be honest, what happens with her story doesn’t really line up with the way that Belzhar functions completely, at least not in my mind. So I’m not a fan of the ending. Or Jam. But I still like Wolitzer, and her other characters, so I’ll write this off as an anomaly.

This book is on the TAYSHAS list for 2015, so it’s in most libraries, but you can also find it on Amazon.



We seek to learn, and when academics do not present the answers, we look inside our own beautiful imaginations for the key.

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