Friday, June 21, 2013

Review: Zelah Green by Vanessa Curtis

Happy Friday people! Have fun winding down from school and work for the weekends~ This review is on a book I recently borrowed from a friend of mines (Azyannita) and finished in about 2 hours flat! It's a light and fresh story and I loved it! I saw it when she brought it to school and I fell in love at first sight when I saw the simple but mesmerising cover!

And here's the full shot of both sides of the cover:

So here's a few info about the book:
  • Title: Zelah Green
  • Author: Vanessa Curtis
  • Publisher: Egmont UK
  • Release Date: January 4, 2011 
  • Price (Malaysian Ringgit): Sadly, I didn't checked but it's about Rm20-RM30
  • Pages:  250
  • Format: Paperback


Synopsis (may contain spoilers, but what's a synopsis without one?):
  • Zelah Green is an interesting girl with interesting routines. It turns out that Zelah, who stays with her "wicked" stepmother, suffers from OCD and she can't stop herself from performing her daily rituals which do not bother her but irritates the people around her; especially her stepmother. With a luggage bag full of her belongings, Zelah is sent to a house where problematic teenagers are being treated. There, she meets The Doc, her husband (I can't seem to remember his name) who are the caretakers, as well as Lib, Alice, Caro and Sol; the other patients. Alice is anorexic, Caro cuts herself, Sol has faced a traumatic past which caused him to become silent 24/7 (in which the cure is found *winkwink*) and Lib who, and I'm just guessing, is into drugs. Zelah seems to deny her OCD and fights to get out of the place at first, but gradually sinks into the challenges and new routines given to her. In the end, Zelah learns new things from her past and for her future which will change her little by little.
  • The synopsis and story in general is a very heartwarming story, and definitely takes us into the shoes of an OCD patient. The one thing that kinda bugs me about the storyline is how fast it goes. A few things happen so quickly it seems unreal. The story could've been written longer to explain the situations but since the book is aimed towards the kind of teenagers who, unlike me, like to read less, I can't argue much.
  • Overall: 4/5.

  • The characters that are focused in this story are Zelah and her friends. The description for all of the characters (main and minor) in general are interesting and each of them have distinctive characteristics which is very nice. But for some characters, such as Lib, Fran and Zelah's father, just makes me wonder and wonder. Especially Lib, who is portrayed as one of the patients in the house, who has her problem described very faintly, which is when Zelah asked her "out of happy pills?" and I am gonna guess it indicates drugs. Even though that may answer what her problem is, I need more. I want to know why she takes them, what kind, can she stop it, why she refuses to talk about it to the other patients? Maybe Vanessa wanted to focus more on Zelah? I don't know.
  • Overall 3/5

Mature content:
  • The story is aimed for children at the age of 12+ but it contains a bit of foul language and obviously talks about negative stuffs like the teenagers's are facing like anorexia, self cutting,etc. So it's either children are getting more matured these days or the story is supposed to be aimed to older children.
  • Overall: 3/5

Overall: 4/5
  • It's a very light and very different from other genres I've read and I highly recommend it to people who like to escape from their everyday lives and step into another person's shoes. Vanessa definitely captured the pains of the teenagers from their problems and the happiness they get from the little things us "normal people" take granted off. I'm looking forward to the sequel, and I will buy both of them so I can reread them anytime!

The sequel

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