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Read Me Like a Book

Review

Read Me Like a Book

Ash has never been the most dedicated student in the world. Between the cute mystery boy who just slipped her his number at her birthday party, her parents who can't seem to get through a single meal without fighting and whatever trouble her spunky best friend Cat is getting into this week, focusing on school is the last thing on her mind. That is, until Miss Murray arrives.  

Love is confusing at any age, but when it's new --- when you fall in love for the first time --- and with someone you never would have expected, it takes on a whole new level of confusing.

READ ME LIKE A BOOK is a captivating, honest and almost surprisingly accurate peek into the mind of a teenage girl on her personal journey to figure out who she really is --- all while the universe seems to be throwing curveball after life-changing event, after dramatic altercation her way. Ash can't explain it, even to herself, but she finds solace in Miss Murray's english classroom. Or, is it in the way her eyes seem to sparkle and the room appears to light up when she smiles?

"READ ME LIKE A BOOK is a captivating, honest and almost surprisingly accurate peek into the mind of a teenage girl....Liz Kessler's ability to so accurately recall the uncertainties of young adulthood is a recognizable talent."

Tackling a topic that, to some, may be controversial, and to others may be all too familiar, this book should should be eye-opening to all. Liz Kessler's ability to so accurately recall the uncertainties of young adulthood is a recognizable talent. I was also impressed with her precise depiction being young in the present culture of Snapchat stories and text message-breakups. I have always found that writers who make a conscious effort to create a realistic world that truly relates to its audience's day-to-day life far more appealing.  

Also noteworthy is how Kessler weaves anecdotal memories into Ash's story. Her narration and the creative analogies she uses to describe Ash's feelings of uncertainty and frustration are often interrupted by short side stories and memories of more comfortable, less confusing times in her life. These glimpses into Ash's old life and juxtapositions of the simplicity of her past are integral to the portrayal of a time and of feelings that, for most, seem impossible to put into words. While I did feel that the conclusion to the story was a bit abrupt and a little too clean, I would recommend this book to anyone who is trying to navigate their life, and anyone who wants to reflect on how far they have come since that trying stage of life.  

As an adult, reading this book brought me back to the time in my life when I never seemed to be able to articulate my thoughts without second (third, fourth, fifth) guessing every decision I made. To younger readers, READ ME LIKE A BOOK is a reminder that everyone goes through a period of self discovery, everyone struggles with big life events, decisions, and overwhelming emotions and that is okay --- reading yourself like a book takes time, reflection, and a whole lot of patience. Kessler wrote a story that will surely guide many readers through writing and reading their own book. 

Reviewed by Terrell W. Orr on June 13, 2016

Read Me Like a Book
by Liz Kessler