Wednesday, July 9, 2008
What I Was-- Meg Rosoff
First, a confession: What I Was isn't exactly a YA book... it sort-of kind-of is, but according to the small amount of research I did through WorldCat, almost all libraries catalog it as adult fiction. However, as Meg Rosoff mostly writes YA fiction (including one of my favorite books of all time, How I Live Now), and since the characters are teens, I feel it is appropriate to review this book on a YA Lit blog.
H has been kicked out of more schools than he can count. He has been sent to St. Oswald's, a boarding school on the coast of England that time has forgotten. H is not particularly smart, athletic, or witty. However, he excels at self-preservation, secret keeping, and sneaking out... all of which are the qualities he needs to succeed in his new life's mission: to spend as much time with Finn as possible. On a school nature outing, H discovers a boy named Finn who lives by himself in a cottage by the sea. After Finn's grandmother died, he had only the sea and a cat for companionship... until H came along years later. H insinuates himself into Finn's life, and only when tragedy strikes does H find out what Finn... and H himself... is really made of. This is a story about loss, relationships, true platonic love, and boarding school.
I would recommend this book to YA readers who like well written books. While the subject matter is appropriate for teens 13 and up, the writing style is a little more advanced than the typical YA tome. Although the protagonist is male, I think boy and girls will both enjoy this book... and besides, who can resist a boarding school book? I sure can't!