Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty

82783My soul sister, Sharon, sent me this book for my 24th birthday. I promptly put it on the shelf to read “someday.” Now that I’ve finished it, I wish there had been a note on it, much like Elizabeth’s mum’s notes, telling me to “READ THIS!!! OVER HERE!!!”

This book was a delightful read that made me nostalgic for the early days of high school. You didn’t have to worry about college or test scores, but you started like like boys and could actually go places on dates with them. The entire book is told in a series of letters, either from real people or imaginary “associations” that help present some of Elizabeth’s thoughts and feelings that she doesn’t share with her family or friends.

The letters between Elizabeth and her stranger-turned-best-friend Christina reminded me so much of the notebooks that my friends and I used to write in while in high school. We would trade the spiral bound notebooks back and forth between classes, writing notes about our lives instead of taking notes about our schoolwork. It was a little time capsule of our lives right in the moment. We talked about the boys we liked, our parents that we didn’t like, who was gossiping about who and all the usual teenage things. But we also talked about our hopes and dreams for the future, even though we had no idea where we’d end up or how we’d get there.

I loved this little trip back to high school. It brought back a lot of memories of how your friends change and you change, but you can’t see it because you’re you. And I realized that perhaps I wasn’t the only one in the world who had had a crush on a guy and had my crush fall in love with my best friend. I know it was over ten years ago – but it still made me feel better.