I recently read Belzhar , written by Meg Wolitzer, as recommended as a potential candidate for the Printz award. I've read a book by Meg Wolitzer previously, and wasn't a huge fan, but I didn't hold that against her while reading this one. Belzhar is also her first dance with a YA novel.
I absolutely loved this book. I started it on my lunch break and felt utterly transported. To that time in high school when all of your emotions are felt with 1000x the normal force, and love is LOVE in 96 point font written on a skyscraper, and loss is the end of your existence. I just devoured the book.
Looking at the reviews, it seems that people are either completely infatuated with it as I am, or thinks it's terrible. Who are those people?!? So maybe it's not everyone's cup of tea, but man I really liked it.
My rating: 5 stars.
Summary from goodreads:
If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be at home in New Jersey with her sweet British boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She’d be watching old comedy sketches with him. She’d be kissing him in the library stacks.
She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English.
But life isn’t fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.
Until a journal-writing assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, where the untainted past is restored, and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss.
From New York Times bestselling author Meg Wolitzer comes a breathtaking and surprising story about first love, deep sorrow, and the power of acceptance.