Book Review: Lessons From a Dead Girl by Jo Knowles
First sentence: "Leah and I are in the fifth grade."
From the back: "Leah Greene is dead, and Laine McCarthy wished for it. She hated Leah that much. Hated her for all the times in the closet, when Leah made her do those things. They were just practicing for when they were older and had boyfriends, Leah said. But Laine knew that other girls don't do those things. Why did Leah choose her? Was she special? Or just easy to control? In the aftermath of Leah's death, Laine is left to unravel what happened all those years ago and to find meaning -- and perhaps forgiveness -- in the devastating lessons she learned."
My take: This was a quick read for me. It shows how impressionable people can be and how easily manipulated they are. When someone has a low self-esteem they begin to wonder how anyone could possibly like them. So when someone who seemingly has it all wants to be their friend, they may question it internally, but are too eager to just want to fit in, wanting to belong, that they go along with it. Even when it means making poor choices or doing things they normally would never do. Leah was rich and popular and in Laine's eyes, she had everything going for her. When in reality, Leah held some very deep, dark secrets and was a disturbed young girl. Good read. I look forward to reading more work by Ms. Knowles.
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Tea Time with Marce
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Candlewick; Reprint edition (August 11, 2009)
My rating: B