Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Librarian's Pick of the Week: After the Wreck...

Title: After the Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings, and Flew Away
Author: Joyce Carol Oates
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Drama
Published: 2006
Age: 14+

Beautiful, compelling, and terribly sad. Not recommended for the faint of heart.

Synopsis: Jenna Abbott separates her life into two categories: before the wreck and after the wreck. Before the wreck, she was leading a normal life with her mom in suburban New York. After the wreck, Jenna i alone, trying desperately to forget what happened that day on the bridge. She's determined not to let anyone get close to her she never wants to feel so broken and fragile again. Then Jenna meets Crow. He is an enigma, and Jenna is instantly drawn to him. Crow is able to break down the wall that Jenna has built around her emotions, and she surprises herself by telling him things she hasn't told anyone else. Can Jenna bring herself to face the memories she's tried so hard to erase?

Review: "Jenna Abbott, 15, is struggling to come to terms with the car accident that killed her mother and nearly took her own life as well. Formerly athletic and smart, she suddenly finds herself unable to concentrate or communicate with anyone. She is broken in both body and spirit and desperate to escape "into the blue," which is how she remembers the drug-induced haze immediately after the accident. Not wanting anything to do with her father and his new family in California, she moves to New Hampshire to live with her aunt and uncle, and begins looking for ways to escape. It takes two near-disasters for Jenna to tentatively open up to her classmate Crow and face her fears and grief. Oates is at her best telling the stories of teenage girls dealing with internal trauma and outside pressures. Jenna's pain at losing the only person truly close to her and the isolation she creates for herself are poignantly drawn. Her understanding that her choices are not what her mother would want for her is especially telling and may speak to teens in comparable situations. Similar in topic to E. R. Frank's Wrecked (S & S, 2005), this powerful novel is well worth reading." - School Library Journal

If you're intrigued, don't forget to check our library's catalog for this book!


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