Read Free Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer –

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Read Free Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer –

Meg Wolitzer ✓ 8 characters

Out disclosing how they ended up at the wooden barnjam is friendly with her roommate dj but once she begins attending her special topics in english class and its mysterious life changing experiences begin to manifest she bonds in a much cultish way with the other students in the class marc casey griffin and sierra as the year goes on extraordinary things begin to happen to them things that can only be discussed with each other on the first day of class mrs uenell enigmatically reuests that they look out for one another and that s exactly what they do sharing their past and current experiences and being there for each other in that always to me effective breakfast club scenario some of the difficulties i had were with the disparity of the characters trauma now i now grief operates on a sliding scale and everyone has different emotional responses to their experiences but pitting casey s history against marc s it s not even in the same ballpark it s not even the same sport and when jam s REVEAL is REVEALED at first it s ind of awesome i gotta say just because of the shock of it all and there s that wonderful experience of readjusting your reader thinking and doing that whole okay so where does that leave us reevaluation but once i was steadied i gotta admit i was much less sympathetic to jam and that might make me a monster but rereading the earlier parts of the book i find that my bafflement perfectly aligns with the bafflement of jam s former friends so i think i m okay most of my other niggles were minor and involve too many plot specifics to be useful here one positive note view spoiler i loved the detail that nothing in belzhar could occur that hadn t happened in the real world and i absolutely loved the gradual distancing she experienced with reeve how she was moving on in life while he was staying exactly as he had been during their time together and how his sameness began to bore her despite her eually powerful need to cling to her memory of happiness or imagined happiness as it were i thought that was a very real depiction both of growing up and outgrowing the things you used to cherish about a person but also of the healing process itself how as new experiences accumulate the pain recedes just a little further and the memories become bittersweet instead of just bitter of course once the inverted commas are slapped around memories it gets messier and the belzhar experience for jam is just sustaining her delusions and it gets much murkier and problematic for me hide spoiler See reviews at YA Midnight ReadsI originally rated this 25 stars but screw it it s been almost 2 months since I read this and I m still majorly pissed off Lowered to 2 stars Belzhar is a very difficult book for me to review I ve been sitting here in front of my laptop for than half an hour just fuming and raging inside because of this book Because I cannot talk about the cons just yet let me just tell you guys what this book is aboutThis book is about Jam Jam s full name is Jamaica and yep her parents named her after the place where she was conceived As amusing as that is Belzhar is not an amusing book It is a dark and profound for one of the first things we find out about our main character is that she was in love with Reeve Maxfield and he died Jam soon becomes inconsolable and her parents end up sending her to The Wooden Barn which is a school for teens who are emotionally fragile highly intelligent At The Wooden Barn Jam finds out that she s been chosen to be part of Mrs uenell s Special Topics in English class This is an extremely selective and arguably elite course where only a handful of students around 5 are selected to partake each year Jam s roommate DJ tells her that all the students who took Mrs uenell s course in the previous years came out claiming that their lives had been changed forever but no one outside the class really nows how and those who were in the class never seemed to divulge much So on the first day of her class Jam is skeptical Soon she and the other students in her small class are handed a red leather notebook and what they don t Jane Does Return know is how much that notebook will change their livesLet s talk about the prose because it was one of the things I loved most here Meg Wolitzer s writing skills are clearly not lacking While I didn t have the best experience with this novel of her s I am definitely going to check out her previous books Her writing though rather simplistic was coated in honesty and bleakness and some of these moments in this novel hit really close to home for me And I alsonow that pain can seem like an endless ribbon You pull it and you pull it You eep gathering it toward you and as it collects you really can t believe that there s something else at the end of it Something that isn t just painOne of my two issues I had this book was the superficiality of the characters and their relationships I didn t manage to gain any emotional bond with any of the characters Sure I felt incredibly sorry for them and I was thoroughly intrigued by their pasts and what led them to end up at The Wooden Barn but if they died randomly I wouldn t have blinked any eye What was of a problem for me were the relationships romantic and platonic I totally didn t get why Jam and Griffin ended up smooching during this book I mean it was completely unnecessary and only took up pages when it shouldn t have Jam was trying to deal with the repercussions of her boyfriend s death for god s sake This is just another classic example in YA books where someone meets someone else to help them move on As for Jam and Sierra s friendship it felt incredibly abrupt One minute Sierra is completely closed off the next minute they re BFFs Please just noIf I hadn t read the ending of this novel I would give this book around 3 stars While I had issues with the characters and relationships I loved the writing and the plot line especially the Belzhar otherworld aspect Rding 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 rest.

Nfortunately the ending to Belzhar exists and I read it And now I fully regret it I m hiding this following part in spoiler tags to discuss why I hated the ending so much view spoilerI have two things to say about this ending 1 I am so so angry with the ending I feel cheated and manipulated into trying to feeling sorry for a girl who got obsessed with a guy who was so obviously not into her And 2 It s rather evident that Jam is delusional No I don t mean it in the joking way I m saying that Jam had a Delusional Disorder Yes that is a thing I actually didn t now myself about this until I searched it up on the web and it s a mental illness with many different subcategories I am really annoyed that the author didn t bother to fully address Jam s circumstances Her delusion NEEDED to be taken note of because it s something that happens to real people as well and brushing it off like that has ept me uite pissed off for the past few hours If you re going to deal with mental illness in a book do it the right way hide spoiler Incredible I inhaled this It is like a dream It is LITERALLY like a dream and like a dream you cannot put it down Sad fascinating funny profound real This story makes a mockery of love emotional integrity and mental illness and it s glamoured by unmagical magical realism a sophisticated literary style and a twist upon which everything else hinges I despise feeling manipulated much as many of the characters in this book would if they had any sense especially when the plot and writing are not particularly remarkable and when the characters and relationships are so incredibly shallow and meaningless There s an attempt to interject a point to the story in the end I suppose but it s only a footnote to this elaborate heartless exercise in writing techniue An advance copy was provided by the publisher PS our own Kim wrote a thorough real review with spoilers detailing why the twist is so very problematic here also very much like aren s balanced and very ind review 35 stars Reading this so soon after having read Sylvia Plath s The Bell Jar for the first time was an interesting experience If you can t tell from the title Wolitzer pulls heavily from Plath s novel but I wouldn t say this story is necessarily a remake or rip off of the originalIn Belzhar we follow Jam Gallahue a sixteen year old girl who is sent to a school for students with issues whether they suffer from emotional physical or psychological trauma On her first day at The Wooden Barn the school Jam finds out she s in a class called Special Topics in English a class that is only taught when the professor Mrs feels like teaching it and only for a select group of students Jam along with four other students at the school is selected to participate and read Plath s novel and poetry over the course of one semesterThroughout the course of the novel and the students semester we come to learn about each character to see them deal with their trauma and grow close to one another Alongside that is a plot surrounding something called Belzhar which I won t disclose in this review But it s a uniue and satisfying premise that relies enough on Plath s original work to introduce the themes but does most of the heavy lifting itself to develop each character their growth and ultimately their conclusionsI found Jam s situation to be the least compelling from the outside compared to the other students in her class but because we see everything through her eyes I came to really enjoy her narrative It could ve easily become something off putting but Wolitzer manages to create a vivid character that you can root forIt s not the most mind blowing book ever but if you re a fan of Plath or at least have read The Bell Jar before I can definitely recommend this one It s got a great diverse cast of characters without feeling like it s checking off boxes and they each have an important story to tell perhaps you ll find one that you can relate to It took me months to get through this one I ept forgetting I was even reading it so let s just say it wasn t a memorable read for me It is uniue don t get me wrong but I just didn t really care about any of these characters Then when the magical element got introduced it made the book even less interesting not as I had hopedOk so let s start with this premise After her boyfriend dies Jam gets sent to boarding school for troubled teens and in one of her classes she s given a journal that to her surprise sends her to a magical place whenever she writes in it This place is free of pain and heartache it s a world where the tragedy that brought them to this school has not happened Although this might sound c 45 I was sent this book by Penguinteen in exchange for an honest reviewYou now those books where you just go into them expecting ehhh but come out of them like holy heck this was amazing and changed my mind set yeah well this was one of those books for me I found out this novel is greatly inspired by Sylvia Plath s book Bell Jar which I have not read but now really really want to We follow Jam a young girl whose first love died She s struggling with her situation and is put in a boarding school for fragile highly intelligent teens In her english class they re given journals to write in and when they begin to write in them they re transported to Belzhar an idyllic world At first I was not liking the main character because it seemed like she was one of the many YA main characters who feel like they re nothing without a boy but there s actual reasoning behind why she feels this wayI enjoyed all the side characters and their stories The author did such an amazing job with showing the many different types of losesI loved the setting of the english class and how close all the students got through writing and sharing their experiences Belzhar was truly magical It s definitely a book that I ll be thinking about for sometimeCANT WAIT TO MEET MEG WOLITZER FRIDA. Ored and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss  From New York Times bestselling author Meg Wolitzer comes a breathtaking and surprising story about first love deep sorrow and the power of acceptance.

It is astonishing how mediocre and immature this book is Wolitzer is supposedly a writer of some critical acclaim so how could she write something so poor The plot itself is ok I guess a bunch of students with various psychological problems are learning to deal with them by experiencing their issues in a sort of hypnotic world of Belzhar really But EVERYTHING about this story is superficial exploration of grief and guilt portrayal of first loveobsession and mental illness even teaching and critical reading of Plath is extremely simplisticBarely managed to skim through this Forced predictable patronizing trite Just no I have never been so disappointed in an author I ept reading hoping she would redeem herself Nope If you re already skeptical about a person someone being in deep dark mourning lasting a year over someone they new for only a few weeks then this is definitely not going to be a book for you Although normally that would put me off I really really wanted this book to work Considering Wolitzer is well established in adult literary fiction I suppose I figured she was likely to have a shot at creating a truly wrenching story of lost love even if that love was so brief There were a couple of clear ways this scenario could work and I was curious to see if Wolitzer would pull it off She didn t Everything about this story is surface level only There is no depth of emotion no character development limited growth stunted pacing and one hell of an obnoxious ending that had me going Seriously Full review at The Midnight Garden i had a very medium response to this book i m conflicted about a number of its different elements annoyedperplexed by others but also pretty impressed by the big reveal s ability to genuinely surprise me however that initial pleasantly surprised feeling morphed into additionally conflicted feelings once i processed the turn so it s all a jumble of contradictory and confusing feelingswhich means i am in the same emotional state as all the characters in this book so let s call it a 35 for thatthis book has several components that are real aren grabbers smart troubled Chimerica kids at boarding school secret history ish situation magical elements creeping into the everyday this is ordinarily the way to my heart and since after reading How To Be a Heroine i d decided to give The Bell Jar another chance to win me over it seemed timely to read this since the title of this book is meant to be pronounced like bell jar it led to a couple of confusing conversations oh you re reading The Bell Jar no i m reading bellzzjjjhhar that s what i said oh the hilarity of miscommunicationhere s another fun conversation i had about this book this one with greg upon looking closely at the coverso this is about sadidsDING DING DING greg wins the summarize a book by its cover gameand i liked it a lot at the beginning jam short for jamaica is a sixteen year old girl whose boyfriend the british exchange student reeve maxfield sooo not in love with the names of characters in this book died forty one days after they met where roughly only half of those days constituted the span of their relationship a year has passed and jam is in no way over her grief she fetishizes this tiny jar of jam get it he gave her she mopes around the house staying in bed for days wearing the same clothes avoiding her friends skipping school and making gloomy pronouncements like this one in a conversation with her twelve year old brother It ll suck without you in the houseYou d better get used to it I said to him Our childhood together is pretty much overThat s mean he saidBut it s true And then eventually I went on one of us will die And the other one will have to go to the funeral And give a speechdude bleakthe reason she s moving out of the house is that she is being sent to vermont to attend the wooden barn a therapeutic boarding school for emotionally fragile highly intelligent students where they can recover from the lingering effects of trauma jam is one of five students chosen to be in a class called special topics in english an extremely selective course taught periodically by the formidable mrs uenell around which and whom mysterious rumors have always swirled former students have claimed the class was life changing but have always been very secretive about why or how or what the class even studied and jam s about to find out but first she s going to moon on and on about her dead boyfriend and her pain actually although i snark i didn t mind this part i thought it was a very authentic description of a teenager losing their first love as brief as it was time is different for teenagers and the length of a relationship is in no way commensurate to the emotions it inspires and her attraction to reeve made sense a shy and uiet good girl being seduced by no than an accent a slouch and some skinny black jeans i loved that she described his voice as having a scrape to it i loved this paragraph He looked like a member of one of those British punk bands from the eighties that my dad still loves and whose albums he Biscuits Bullets A Gettysburg Story keeps in special plastic sleeves because he s positive they re going to be worth a lot of money someday Once I looked up one of my dad s most prized albums on eBay and saw that someone had bid sixteen cents for it which for some reason made me want to cryi thought that was a great detail because jam is at that age where she is transitioning from a child s whole world love for her parents to feeling sorry for them and protective of them but back to reeve always back to reeve she spends her time remembering each and every conversation they ever had greedily sucking the marrow from each precious memory but she never talks about the day he died or how it happened in a school full of emotionally fraught teenagers i mean than your run of the mill emotionally fraught teenagers everyone is very respectful of each others pasts and secrets and some are open than others ab. 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 beissing him in the library stacks  She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn a therapeutic boa.

Meg Wolitzer is the New York Times–bestselling author of The Interestings The Uncoupling The Ten Year Nap The Position The Wife and Sleepwalking She is also the author of the young adult novel Belzhar Wolitzer lives in New York City