Little Willow (slayground) wrote,
Little Willow

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Things Left Unsaid by Stephanie Hemphill

Told in first-person poetry, Things Left Unsaid chronicles a school year in the life of Sarah, who is suddenly feeling itchy in her own skin. She finds herself being critical with her own friends and family members, and although they are there for her, she needs something else. Just what that something is, she doesn't know, not yet.

The book jacket makes the story sound as though it is the typical "bad friend" tale - a good girl falls under the influence of her new friend - but it is more than that. It is Sarah's search for herself, not just for a new friend or for attention. After befriending the bold and seemingly unafraid Robin, Sarah retains her old friends. She tries to figure out what is important to her, not to others, and she never does things simply to fit in. She learns from her own missteps as well as those of others and emerges a little older, a little wiser, a little sadder, a little happier.

Kudos are due to the writer and the character she created. Sarah's voice sounds authentic, and that made the story all the more enjoyable. Though I prefer prose when forced to choose, I love poetry and I enjoy poetry novels, and even I forgot that I was reading poetry - that's how real her voice is, how engrossed I became in the story. This story impressed me. You should read it, especially if you like Sonya Sones or Alison McGhee.

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Tags: books, reviews

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