After a pretty disappointing year of both not having time to read and reading a string of books that I did not find particularly enjoyable, when reflecting on my favorite book of the year, Feeling Sorry for Celia is inarguably the one that makes the top of the list.
The book takes place over corresponding letters between two girls from different high schools, Elizabeth Clarry and Christina Kratovac, a correspondence that originally starts as an English assignment but almost immediately turns into a friendship that came into the girl’s life at the perfect time
Elizabeth, newly reconnected with her absent father, in the process of training for a marathon, upset over unrequited boy troubles and trying to figure out her ever disappearing best friend, Celia Buckley, confides in her pen pal Christina with these new found troubles in her life. Facing her fair share of boy troubles, Christina is not free from stressors of being a teenager. Compiled with the girl’s correspondence are various notes between Elizabeth and her mother and harsh letters from different societies (Memory Trigger Society, The Association of Teenagers) representing Elizabeth’s internal struggle in handling her external situations. This book takes you through the journey of Elizabeth and Christina managing the havoc in their lives, along with developing a new friendship that helps them get through it all.
I am usually not a fan of young adult fiction. I find the characters unrealistic, the genre thus not fulfilling one of its main purposes. But Elizabeth and Christina are two refreshing, characters that I could both find myself in. Their friendship almost makes you envy them, despite the complicated lives they live. They were two pessimistic, yet energetic teenagers whose dialog is so genuine that it seems as though they are having the conversation right in front of you. I became invested in their situation, empathized with their problems, and rooted for them to be happy throughout the whole book. The fast-paced plot and the letter format makes it an easy read that never gets boring.
I enjoyed every second of reading this book and would give it a perfect 10/10.
Book Review by Amelia Gulding