You know what it’s like to read a lackluster book? You know, the type of book that you didn’t dislike–it just meant nothing to you at all? I had that type of experience with Lessons From a Dead Girl, with Jo Knowles–just completely lackluster. I was unable to connect with the book in any way, which to me is a fate worse than actually hating a book! It just feels like such a waste of time to read a book and then be left empty afterward.
Lessons From a Dead Girl is the story of Leah and Laine. It begins with Leah’s death while the two are in high school, and then goes back and retraces their tumultuous friendship. Originally, I picked up the book because the description referred to some type of sexual abuse or sexual situation going on between Leah and Laine, and that interested me on a level of sheer curiosity. In reading the book, it becomes obvious that Leah is the leader in the friendship which causes resentment on Lainey’s end and eventually leads to a fissure in the relationship.
One thing I did appreciate with this book is the way Knowles began with Leah’s death and then went back to the beginning and worked her way up to Leah’s demise. Having know nothing about Leah and Laine’s friendship when I began the book, I eventually had to go back and read the first portion of the book once I had finished the story. It was fun to see how my perception had changed once I knew Laine’s version of events.
As to why I was unable to connect with the book, I don’t have much of an explanation. It isn’t a bad book. I wouldn’t try to discourage others from reading it–it just wasn’t for me. I think part of the problem is that I have been feeling burnt out on YA fiction within the last few weeks, so the YA fiction I’ve read in that span seems to have been affected by my mood shift.