I can’t remember how this book got on my wish list. I haven’t read anything else by Meg Wolitzer. I generally stay with young adult books and she is more known for her adult books than this YA one.
In any case, I put Belzhar on my list at some point and it became available recently. I had no idea what to expect, but was quickly drawn into a world of troubled teens. The story is told from perspective of a high school student named Jam. After the loss of her boyfriend, she has trouble coping and is sent to a boarding school in rural Vermont called The Wooden Barn. Here she is placed in a class called “Special Topics in English”, with a handful of kids, who are each dealing with their own post-traumatic issues.
Nobody knows what the class is or how people get into it. They only study the life and work of one author for the year and this year it is Sylvia Plath. I haven’t read any Plath myself to comment on the interpretations of her work and the influence on the students. But with her history of mental health issues, it seemed plausible that the students could relate to her.
As the students reluctantly start their homework, they being to discover something special about the journals they have been given to write in and the class itself. Could the journals really be magical? Or is there something even more wrong with themselves than they thought?
Read the rest of my review at Loopy Ker’s Life.
(I give it 3.5 stars there, but will bump it up to 4 stars here, with no half-star options)