If you want a trip back to your early teenage years, either to pine for them, or cringe from the torture of them, this wonderful book will take you there. I have never read anything so true and heartfelt as the depiction of the two inseparable best friends that Jo Ann Beard has created in her book, In Zanesville.
We meet the girls as they end their summer together before they will enter high school. Sharing the nervous excitement as they wait for their new adventure to begin. Shopping for their new wardrobes and squeezing every last drop of childhood out before they turn the corner and face the fact that they will be growing up. Their families are dysfunctional, their neighbors are quirky, and their town is dead, but they have each other!
Remember your freshman year? You wanted to be grown up, but everyone still looked at you as if you were a child. You would take one step forward, and then two steps back. You would reach out to stretch the limits of your comfort zone and then pull back to your safety net. And so our girls go, staying true to each other until their bond is tested by an unexpected invitation to the birthday party of a school cheerleader. Both girls are mystified as to why they would be included, and they are terrified of actually attending the party, worrying that this is all just one big joke. When one is accepted by the "cool" girls and one is mostly rejected, both of their lives are changed. It made me sad to see the girls move apart. Haven't we all loved a friend all through our childhood only to grow apart just when we needed each other the most? There are still girls now that when I think of them, I feel a hole in my heart.
In Zanesville will bring out every emotion you ever felt as you started high school and grew into who you would become. I loved it and related to every bit. As bad as a freshman year can be, it can also be wonderful and reading this book made me want to go back and relive it all!
Recommended by Donna Nichols