March 07, 2013

Review: Zoe Letting Go by Nora Price

Zoe Letting Go

A girl's letters to her best friend reveal two lives derailed by anorexia in this haunting debut that's Wintergirls meets The Sixth Sense
It's not a hospital, a spa, or an institution. That's what they told me--that's what the brochures promised.
But no matter what the brochures promised, Zoe finds that Twin Birch is a place for girls with a penchant for harming themselves. Through journal entries and letters to her best friend, Elise, she tries to understand why she was brought there, and how she could possibly belong in a place like this. But Zoe's letters to Elise remain unanswered. She wonders why her best friend would cut her off without a word, reliving memory after memory of their beautiful, rocky, inescapable friendship. But everyone has secrets--including Zoe--and as her own fragile mental state hangs in the balance, she must finally learn to come to terms with what happened to Elise before she's able to let go.

A Long Story...Short!

Although this book is kind of an addicting story, I don't think it'd make the top list in this genre. The story was good, the writing admirable, the heroine sympathetic and I was close to tears a couple of times, but the rather open ending and the unanswered questions throughout the book made it an overall unsatisfying read.
RATING: 2/ 3 Smarties

Review for You:

So, I guess you have to love this book for Wintergirls reasons. If you have read any other book on eating disorders, self-harm, depression or other horrible diseases that can ruin a person's life you know what I mean. The characters in those books are usually so far down, so desperate, that you can't help but feel for them and want them to be in a better place again and that's why you keep turning the pages.
That should not be the only reason, though. I think especially with books that are hard to put down for the aforementioned reasons, it's important to shine in other areas, as well.
Writing, for example. Which was great for most of the time in Zoe Letting Go. The story is told from Zoe's point of view and the heroine has a unique voice and way of thinking - I think that was impressive, also considering the fact that it's the author's first book.
The plot was pretty much perfect, too. The balance between present day and flashbacks was there at all times which held my interest. The letters to Elise were - in my opinion - a bit too many and a bit too long, but I'm not a fan of that kind of style, anyway - interrupting the story with letters that basically just recall what just happened in the last chapter.
As  I was reading , I was convinced that this would be a three Smartie review very easily - but that was when I still thought I would get an actual ending and answers to all of my questions.
I think it's okay, especially with contemporary stories like this to not explain every detail of how things will go on in the characters' lives. However, Price left so many aspects simply untalked about and up to the reader's imagination that it annoyed me - a lot, actually.
All in all, I would still recommend the book but warn you of an unsatisfying ending that I find pretty much unacceptable.

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