Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
Publishing date: September 30, 2014
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
BELZHAR by Meg Wolitzer is a staggeringly simple, yet intricate book about Jamaica Gallahue, a teen who has experienced life anything but ordinarily. After a devastating loss of her boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield, Jam is sent to attend school at The Wooden Barn to help deal with her “lingering effects of trauma.” School being the last thing on her mind, Jam is surprised to find that getting put into this life changing class, Special Topics in English, would be one of the greatest things that has ever happened to her. Jam and her four classmates discover a dream-like world called Belzhar, where they can go back in time to a place where things were okay again, where their losses in life did not exist, and all it took was writing in a journal to bring them to this safe heaven. As the year comes to an end, Jam's journal begins to fill up and the truth comes out in unexpected ways the reader will never see coming.
BELZHAR is an outstanding and breathtaking story that will continue to shock the reader from start to finish. Wolitzer did an impressive job dealing with how we as humans cope with loss, and how we come to recognize our pain. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to be entranced and enjoys a little pull on the heart strings. I inhaled Belzhar and am one who can appreciate a good twist at the end of a novel. Told in narrative form, by Jam herself, the reader gets a chance to see into the life of one dealing with an emotional devastation, and how she comes to cope. One does not want to miss out on the chance to engage themselves in such an astonishing book.