Friday, February 19, 2010

Review for BEING SIXTEEN by Allyson Condie

Allyson Condie
publishedFebruary 3rd 2010 by Deseret Book Company
Paperback, 240 pages

Placement in Pile: Top Picks


Juliet Kendall has been looking forward to her sixteenth birthday for what feels like forever. At first, it seems like being sixteen will be as perfect as she dreamed---she has great friends, a cute almost-boyfriend, a spot on the varsity girls' basketball team, and even a car of her own. But, as the year goes on, she discovers that her sister Carly, is hiding a secret and realizes that, in fact, being sixteen may be her hardest year yet.

Being Sixteen is a coming-of-age story about two sister and their different struggles. It addresses what it means to have a testimony, what it meant to be a friend and a sister, and what's involved in the dealing with and overcoming an eating disorder.


Wow. I was planning on reviewing A GOLDEN WEB today, but after staying up until 1:30 am to finish reading this book last night, I decided to switch. (I'll do A GOLDEN WEB next week.) Ally has created a masterpiece with BEING SIXTEEN. It is heartbreaking and uplifting. I admit that at the beginning I wasn't sucked in. I was reading it during commercial breaks of the Men's Skating Finals (Go Evan!! Woot!). But by the time I was 1/3 of the way in, I was hooked and I couldn't put it down.

It was so real, so vivid and moving. I felt like I knew what Juliet was going through, that I was right there, experiencing all of her pain and frustration (even though I haven't been in her exact situations). I want my sisters, and mom, and friends to all read this book. It is "LDS fiction" which means it is written from the POV of a girl who is LDS (aka "Mormon"). I don't think it is overly religious, and even if you weren't LDS I don't think it would be too confusing. The messages of this book have religious overtones, but the main messages are so much more than that--body image issues, what it means to be a sister and a friend, and how life can implode but you can still keep going. Ally's dad said this was his favorite book of hers so far published or to be published, and he's agnostic. (Right, Ally? I'm pretty sure that's what you wrote on your website.) So that's quite the endorsement right there. I have to say, that I think I might agree. I love her forthcoming book (the version I read of it anyway... can't wait to see how it turns out when it gets published. SQUEEE!!!!), but I almost think I like this one more, too. Maybe it's more that I like them equally, just in different ways. This book is so moving and emotional and so true. I loved it.


Sara said...

Wow, great review! It looks so good, I can't wait to check it out :)

Aubrey (AKA Stacey) said...

Can't wait to get it back from you Guinevere so I can read it! I am a HUGE Ally fan, and can't wait for her nationally published one!

I'm glad you loved this one so much!

Morgan said...

Sounds really cute, and I'll defiantly be picking this one up. Great review!