Saturday, May 3, 2008

Lessons From A Dead Girl by Jo Knowles

Laine has always felt awkward and shy, painfully removed from her more easy-going classmates. That's why, when beautiful, popular Leah Greene selected her as a friend in fifth grade, Laine was simultaneously flattered and confused: "Any time I start to wonder why on earth Leah Greene wants to be my best friend, I tell myself not to think about it… I feel so deliriously happy, I think my lips will crack from smiling so hard…. I'm not no one anymore."

But soon Leah's friendship evolves into secret sessions in Laine's walk-in closet, sessions where Leah forces Laine to play house, kissing and touching her all over while they pretend to be husband and wife, to “practice for when we get older." After these incidents, Leah taunts Laine, accusing her of enjoying the intimate contact too much, of being abnormal, sick and perverted. As for Laine, she's more confused then ever --- it's true that Leah's kisses are exciting, but they also feel dirty and wrong. Why does Leah do these things to Laine? Does it have something to do with the uncomfortable relationship Leah has with her father's friend Sam?

As the girls grow older, Leah becomes simultaneously more vicious and distant. Laine, desperately desiring normal relationships, is unsure how to create and support regular friendships, especially when she's always second-guessing her new friends' motivations and desires. But when Leah, who has quickly spiraled into self-destructive patterns of behavior, dies in a terrible car crash while the girls are in high school, Laine is forced to revisit and re-examine all of her relationships, past and present, to find out where things went wrong…and whether she is to blame.

This book was pretty disgusting. Knowles didn't have much details into the part but the details she had left me feeling disgusted for Leah and Laine. I read why Jo Knowles wrote this book, which was because she read something about kid to kid abuse, and I believed, after reading the novel, that it must happen. I was sad and grossed out about this.

Laine goes through the book from the past. The book starts out with the prologue of what you already knew from the inside flap and then in the first chapter Laine tells us how it grew from that. The last few chapters and the prologue were the only present times. It was interesting and a good idea to write the book like that.

Leah was a sad manipulative person who I would never want to meet in real life. Laine is the type of person who you could probably easily be friends with. She was real and a very sensitive person.

I didn't like reading about plot but the writing was superb. You will feel nauseas after reading this. You will also feel very sorry for Laine and have little sympathy for Leah. Most likely you will come to love Laine's character and wish you could help her.

Read On!


1 comment:

  1. I want to read this one.

    And hehe, your old reviews are so different from the new ones. :P


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