Jan 14, 2011

Nostalgic Friday: Aimee by Mary Beth Miller

Welcome back to Nostalgic Friday! Since I love all things historical (culturally, physically, and personally) I do a post on Fridays honoring some awesome book that is a bit older. Many of them are books I enjoyed in my teens and others are books that I discovered as an adult that I think are relevant to YA readers.

I must admit that I was a reader of darker stories when I was a teen. If it was tragic, brutal & gut-wrenching, then I was all over it. Aimee by Mary Beth Miller falls into that category with both hands & feet. There is no escaping the hard truth that this book discuses.

Zoe is an exile. After moving to a new town, since there was no way she could stay in her old town after being acquitted of the murder of her best friend Aimee, Zoe is withdrawn, angry, & confused. Forced to see a therapist that she believes to be a moron, Zoe documents her existence in her new life while interjecting information about her former life. Her entries sometimes take on the form of rants against any and all adults & other times they are happy memories with her old friends.

The culmination of her work is when Zoe comes face to face with the reality of what she could have done for Aimee. Is Zoe really responsible for what happened to Aimee? If not, then how does she handle the continuance of her youth?

This was a hard book to really wrap my head around, at the time I read it. Mary Beth Miller does an eloquent & rawly fresh job of conveying one girl's turmoil over the loss of her friend & her struggle with her involvement. Zoe was a strong character who hid in her depths of anger. She had so many levels of anger that were all pointed at different targets & managed with varying levels of fervor.

The world that Miller creates is one that was just really emerging & taking shape at the time it was written. The situations that the teens participated in throughout the novel weren't the commonplace situations for teens of the time. Nowadays it's a different story, but I think it still has merit. This book reminds me of some of Sarah Dessen's earlier novels or even Elizabeth Scott's darker novels.

To be certain, this is a book that should be at least considered. I hope you like it!

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