“Books light the fire—whether it’s a book that’s already written, or an empty journal that needs to be filled in.”
― Meg Wolitzer,
First of all, I want to thank Random House for sending me a review copy! Thank you!
I have a lot of mixed feelings for this book. When I first finished it, I thought it was fantastic. But after a few days passed and I had collected all of my thoughts and feelings towards Belzhar, I did notice some things that bothered me.
But first, the premise:
If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be at home in New Jersey with her sweet British boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She’d be watching old comedy sketches with him. She’d be kissing him in the library stacks.
She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English.
But life isn’t fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.
Until a journal-writing assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, where the untainted past is restored, and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss.
This is the German cover
I want to talk about the good things first. I loved the idea of Belzhar and just the thought of there being such a place is amazing. I really liked the writing style of the author. Wolitzer really does have a beautiful style. I thought her story was original and unique which is rare nowadays. There really isn’t a novel like this out there.
But what really bothered me were the characters. I liked Jam at first but in the end she turned out to be so so delusional, I was so annoyed by her. I mean, it is already weird that she mourns after a person who she knew for 40 days and she didn’t even see him all those days. Anyone who has read the book probably knows what I’m talking about. The romance was basically insta-love and unnecessary concerning the whole plot. I just didn’t get the characters and their actions. Friendships for life were formed in a day which basically is the same as the insta-love, it’s just insta-friendship.
Although, there are so many reasons to dislike this book, I didn’t. The characters aside, the story and the idea of Belzhar was so unique and amazing. The whole idea was thought through so well. Every little detail revealed of Belzhar just fit and seamed logical.
I would recommend this book to everyone and anyone just because it is a good idea and plot.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you in my next post!