Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Review - Lessons from a Dead Girl by Jo Knowles

I saw Jennifer from Crazy For Books review this and I added it to my list, thanks for a great review Jennifer, you can read hers here

My Review

The inspiration for Lessons from a Dead Girl came from an article about kids abusing kids. Jo Knowles the author says. “I began to wonder what makes childhood friendships so complex, so painful at times and yet so binding,”

This was a fast troubling read. This book is for 14 year olds and up. When I first started reading it just felt young, I had to remind myself that 20 years ago this could have been me, but that didn’t work. I tried thinking about my nieces, that didn’t work and then I put myself presently in it, a mom that in a few years to come I could possibly have to deal with supporting my daughter through this and that is when I was able to read and fully enjoy the book.

Friendship is a special part of growing up, feeling important if you’re a part of the in crowd or not, just having one special friend is great. Well in the case of Laine and Leah, Laine had a love hate friendship for Leah. The ones you love and trust are sometimes the ones that hurt you the most.

Each chapter was a Lesson, each one important and a part of the self-discovery journey as a teenager. One Lesson – It’s Easier to Hate what we don’t understand……… this was a great one that continued throughout the book. Laine didn’t understand Leah and the things she did to Laine or asked her to do. Laine was confused on what friends forever or true friends really meant. Would a true friend treat you and do the things to you as Leah did?

As a mom it taught me the importance of talking and listening and not pushing your teenager into things that you can so no to. I have to remember the statement ‘teenagers will be teenagers’ will not go for everything and at times teenagers are screaming for help in every way other than really screaming. And secrets, oh the secrets, there should never be secrets when abuse is involved.

When the book got near the end I couldn’t stop reading, I was totally captivated, could Laine forgive Leah, and does she understand her now. This twisted friendship ended in tragedy but in many cases it was tragic along.

I will even admit to shedding a tear at the end. Will Laine find some meaning in the lessons, and decide whether she can forgive Leah and, ultimately, herself. That is the final thought.

I give it 4 stars

Thanks for visiting Tea Time with Marce


  1. I'm so glad you liked the story! It's definitely a haunting, troubling book!

  2. great review. I have seen it brought up a few times now and will definitely have to check it out!

  3. Wow, this sounds like a page turner! What a great cover too!

  4. Looks like this is a good one! I have another Jo Knowles "Jumping Off Swings" sitting on my shelf. I have to get to it soon!

  5. Wow! I loved the cover, but your review really has me wanting to read this. Great review!

  6. Wow! This is a very haunting and I think I would definitely love it due to the fact that it is the kind that would make me think. Thank you for introducing this book to all of us. Great choice, and I'm definitely going to try to find it for my personal library =)

  7. I guess you are right, when you are a parent and read a YA, you will experience it differently to someone who doesn't have kids (yep tried putting myself in Laine's shoes and didn't work either). Thanks for sharing your experience! That's why I think I'd have enjoyed this book more had I read it as a teenager (we're about the same age).


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