“Expect depth and razor sharp wit in this YA novel from the author of The Interestings.” – Entertainment Weekly
“A prep school tale with a supernatural-romance touch, from genius adult novelist Meg Wolitzer.” —Glamour
“Basically everything Meg Wolitzer writes is worth reading, usually over and over again, and her YA debut . . . is no exception.” —TeenVogue.com
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.
When 10th grader Jam Gallahue meets British exchange student Reeve Maxfield, she fees like she finally understands love, and when she loses him, she can't get over it. Her grief eventually lands her at the Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school for "emotionally fragile, highly intelligent" teenagers. There, she's selected for Special Topics in English, a legendary class whose eccentric teacher handpicks her students and gives out journals that, Jam learns, seem to have the ability to take students back to their lives before the disasters that changed them. Making her YA debut, acclaimed author Wolitzer writes crisply and sometimes humorously about sadness, guilt, and anger Jam's fellow students each have lines that divide their lives into before and after, and all of them need to move forward. Jam's class is studying Sylvia Plath, and Wolitzer weaves her life and work into the story with a light hand. Some of this lightness is missing at the end, when Jam reflects how the journals saved her and her classmates, but this is otherwise a strong, original book. Ages 14 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This book was...there are not even words to describe it. It was undeniably relatable, hilarious, and overall brilliant. Meg Wolitzer has helped me through a hard stage in my life by writing this book. It is a must read.
This book is definitely my favorite book, I stayed up all night reading it and the plot twist at the end is just amazing. I totally recommend getting this book!