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Notes on a Near-Life Experience by Olivia Birdsall

March 3rd, 2008 (06:35 am)

Current Mood: awake
Current Song: SVU score music

What do A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban and Notes on a Near-Life Experience by Olivia Birdsall have in common? Both use quirky vignettes with quirky titles to effectively tell a story. While Crooked offers cookies, organ music, and striped toe socks, Notes includes pepperoni, prom, and a person from Peru.

Both titles were released in 2007 and were nominated for The Cybils Book Awards - Perfect in the middle grade category, Notes in the young adult category. I personally nominated Notes, and here's why:

At the age of fifteen, Mia is trying to make sense of life. Everything and everyone around her seem to be changing. Her parents are getting separated, her brother is rebelling, and her brother's best friend is finally returning her affection. What could possibly happen next?

I really enjoyed Mia's sense of self and her honest take on things. She is able to take the good with the bad, the happy with the sad, and she has a good head on her shoulders. Her stories are sometimes serious, sometimes humorous, and always poignant. My favorite vignettes include Coming of Age, What I Want to Be When I Grow Up, and Living Dead Girl. I really hope that others will take note of Olivia Birdsall's debut.

I bumped up this post in March 2008 as part of Wicked Cool Overlooked Books, a monthly blog notation encouraged by Colleen from Chasing Ray: On the first Monday of every month, she posts about a Wicked Cool Overlooked Book - a book she enjoyed that she wishes others would pick up - and invites others to post their picks as well.

Read my other posts about Wicked Cool Overlooked Books.

Learn more about WCOB at Chasing Ray.