Saturday, December 03, 2016

Read Me Like A Book, by Liz Kessler

Ashleigh has never seen much point to school and she’s spent most of her energy trying to get out of doing any work.  With her parents separating, she’s even less engaged than normal.  But a young female teacher inspires her and awakens a love for literature in Ashleigh.  She finds herself caring about her homework which presages a turnaround in Ashleigh's life.  But is there something more behind her desire to please her teacher?

Ashleigh has far more questions than answers.  Kessler doesn't have much of a direction in her novel.  Instead, she basically lets Ashleigh stumble through bad relationships and friendships that run hot and cold, searching for something much more.  The fact that Ashleigh does in fact pull her life more or less together is what makes the story work.  Rather than achieve a true dramatic arc, we are presented with a slice in Ashleigh’s evolving life, watching her drift from one situation to another.  The result is something more of a character study than a story but Ashleigh's strength will inspire readers.

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