So sometimes I actually read the books I talk about on this blog. Over the weekend, I read The Girl I Wanted to Be, by Sarah Grace McCandless, which I discussed here on EDIWTB.
I liked it. In my opinion, McCandless’ greatest strength is her dead-on accurate portrayal of adolescence in all of its self-absorbed glory. Presley, the heroine, is 14 years old, and very much living in her own world. The book covers a 9-month period, during which Presley starts high school and some difficult things happen in her family. McCandless meticulously creates the world of a 14-year old girl, with small details and touches that give the character a real sense of authenticity. I also thought it was perfectly paced.
My one quibble with the book — and I don’t want to reveal pivotal plot points needlessly — is that the crucial events that take place during the the book are unnecessarily tragic. I think McCandless could have depicted Presley’s loss of innocence (the realization that her heroes are flawed) using less drastic means. It would have made the story more realistic and ultimately more compelling.
Overall, I’d recommend it. It’s a rather quick read, and I found myself eager to get back to it throughout the weekend. Always the sign of a good book…
I look forward to more from this author!