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Feeling Sorry for Celia
'Dear Ms Clarry,
Another thing. Most teenagers are supposed to have heaps of friends to do all the drinking and drug taking and vandalising with. And to go to parties with, and movies, and dance parties. Apparently, you only have ONE friend and she's disappeared off the face of the earth! You really ARE a waste of space!
The Association of Teenagers'
Life is pretty complicated for Elizabeth Clarry. Her best friend Celia has disappeared, her absent father has reappeared and her communication with her mother depends entirely on fridge notes. And now, because her English teacher wants to rekindle the Joy of the Envelope, a Complete and Utter Stranger knows more about Elizabeth than anyone else.
But Elizabeth is on the threshold of change. She is about to lose a friend, find a friend, fall in love and taste wine that smells like compost. A lot can happen in the time it takes to write a letter. . .
My copy of this book has been read hundreds of time by me and others.
I love this book so much.
I'm not really sure how to describe my love for this novel.
So, I will start off with a whole bunch of adjectives that I think are appropriate:
Witty, clever, funny, honest, heartfelt and true.
I first read this book a few years ago when I borrowed it from a school library. By the third page I was irrevocably hooked.
Look, I always feel like my words are inadequate when I'm trying to describe the excellence of a book that I love ardently. But here goes.
Feeling Sorry for Celia is a brilliantly clever young adult novel that is constructed entirely through letters, notes and postcards from both real and imaginary people (societies) in Elizabeth Clarry's life and mind. But the marvellous thing about FSFC, is that the epistolary style of the novel--the varied array of letters and notes--does not feel stilted or jumpy, and instead flows smoothly and easily. It kept me ravenously turning the pages.
As part of a pen pal project started by Elizabeth's English teacher Mr Botherit, Elizabeth writes to a girl (Christina--don't call her Tina) who attends the neighbouring Brookfield High.
Through insightful, funny, honest and witty letters, Elizabeth and Christina develop a wonderful new friendship based entirely on their correspondence with one another. The concept of feeling comfortable sharing secrets, hopes, dreams, worries--sharing our lives--with strangers through the form of letters is deftly developed by Moriarty throughout the novel, and is what makes FSFC a unique gem of a book.
Both Elizabeth and Christina are lovely, well-developed and real characters. The way they support each other through life's ups and downs, and genuinely care about one another's issues (once they get past their 'Letter to a Complete and Utter Stranger' stage) is wonderfully endearing.
Celia was a little more difficult to relate to, mostly because she was such a crazy, self-obsessed kind of character--Moriarty carefully constructs Celia deliberately like this, I think, to reinforce the idea that friends who are so caught up in their own issues that they neglect to consider the feelings of others are not good friends to have. Particularly when you don't have many quality friends, like Elizabeth. Until Christina.
I adored Elizabeth's mother for her eccentricity. The notes that she leaves Elizabeth on the fridge and under her bedroom door were so simply funny .
'It is very extremely cold today. Wear seven pairs of stockings.'
'I hope you feel better today. Please ring me at work if you are dead.'
I remember when I finished reading I was overcome by that bittersweet feeling of disappointment in turning the last page and realising that that was it. So, IMMEDIATELY, I went back to the library and borrowed the rest of the Ashbury High novels, which, not surprisingly were just as brilliant and funny and clever as FSFC.
Jaclyn Moriarty is such a talented writer, and this is evident not only in FSFC, but in the rest of the Ashbury/Brookfield series, and also I Have a Bed Made of Buttermilk Pancakes.
Moriarty's writing will always be special to me, as reading FSFC really got me hooked on our contemporary Australian YA literature.
Feeling Sorry for Celia is a genuine Australian YA gem, and I recommend it highly .
I read this book for the first time when I was 12 years old and have continued to reread it every few years (I am now 24). It is, and will always be, one of my ALL TIME FAVOURITE books.
This is a book about love and friendship through letters. Elisabeth (the main character) is having trouble figuring out who her real friends are and how to be an average teenage girl. While at school she has to write letters to a pen pal from another school and she meets a girl called Cristina. The two pen pals quickly become friends, Cristina makes Elisabeth realize what really matters in life and that life isn't as bad as she thinks it is and through all the though times Elisabeth and her pen pall go through at the end they prove that they are truly there for each other.
The way Jaclyn Moriarty writes the book with such sensitivity and humor and truly captures the meaning in the word friendship. I also loved how the whole book is written in a series of letters, this also gives it a lot of suspense because you don't know what's happened until the main character (or any other character) writes about it one of her letters. I also thought the book had a very strong message to it and how the main character puts so much passion and sensitivity into her letters.
Other books by Jaclyn Moriarty or books by Melina Marchetta such as Looking for Alibrandi or Saving Francesca (the two authors write with a similar theme, like finding yourself and they both write with a lot of sensitivity and humor).
In a car on a sunny day, in bed, under a tree, on a couch or sitting on grass in a park.
Something quirky and happy and has a nice melody, not anything too drab.
This book is about a girl called Elizabeth Clarry. She lives in Australia and is a pretty average teenager. When Elizabeth has to write a letter to a pen pal at another local high school, they soon become good friends. Elizabeth tells her pen pal Christina everything, about her family issues, love and her strange best friend Celia.
It's almost like a true story. Love, friends and family problems are what most teenagers are facing every day.
This story made me think how lucky I am to have many friends & family that care for me and like me the way I am.
Finding Cassie Crazy by Jaclyn Moriarty and The Betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie also by Jaclyn Moriarty and Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta.
I like to read this book night before I go to bed because it's nice and quiet and it gives me something to think about before I go to sleep.
really girly sort of soundtrack with songs about love & friends like 'it's raining men' & Delta Goodrem songs.
A young teenage girl who is definitely going to fail high school and most likely life as well. And for her friend Celia well she is always do crazy things.
it's written in a different type of form unlike most books are written like stories this novel is based on people sending letters to each other.
love stories, cute boys, friendships.
is in a nice relaxed spot because as soon as you start you wouldn't put the novel down.
something soft, maybe about friendships, love, happy or excited music.