Review: Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

Book Title: Belzhar
Author: Meg Wolitzer
Publish Date: September 30th, 2014
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Genre: YA Contemporary
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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 be kissing  him in the library stacks.

She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding 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 restored, 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.
Disclaimer: I participated in an ARC Tour for this book and I read it with the ladies of On The Same Page.

What the hell did I just read?
And I mean that in the best way possible. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into with Belzhar, but I was willing to give it a shot. In the beginning, it was a little slow, but by the time Page 60 rolled around, it was really picking up. By the time Page 100 rolled around, it was next to impossible to even consider putting this book down.
I’m a weirdo, I love Sylvia Plath’s poetry, so when I heard that Sylvia Plath was going to be featured in this book, I was stoked and I had really high hopes for this book.Sylvia Plath also wrote The Bell Jar, which is one of my favorite novels ever. Told you, I’m a weirdo.
Anyway, this book follows five students, Casey, Sierra, Marc, Griffin and Jam. They are the only five students in this “Special Topics in English” class that has been taught for a long time by the same teacher. Each of them has their own story, their own reason for being at The Wooden Barn. Yes, we do learn about the reasons these people come to The Wooden Barn, which was probably my favorite part.
The supernatural elements of the book were also quite fascinating. I kept wanting to read more and more of the book. I wanted to find out more about Belzhar as a whole. It had a very Dead Poets Society feel to it, which I loved as Dead Poets Society is one of my all time favorite movies. I don’t know if it was intentional, but it definitely reminded me of the movie.
I honestly wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this book, but I knew I had to give it a chance and I am so incredibly happy that I did give it a chance because it was nothing like what I was expecting and when book surprise me like that, I get excited. I am honestly not sure why I can’t give it the full 5 stars because I did think it was awesome. If I had to put my finger on it though, I’d say that the ending was abrupt and I really wanted more of this book, an ending that was a bit more smooth than what I got. I did really like it a lot and I would definitely recommend it.

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