Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Review: Zelah Green by Vanessa Curtis


Publisher: Egmont UK
Format: Paperback
Re-Released: July 5th, 2010
Grade rating: B+/A-


Amazon summary:

My Name is Zelah Green and I'm a cleanaholic. I spend most of my life running away from germs, dirt, and people. And I'm just about doing ok and then my stepmother packs me off to some kind of hospital to live with a load of strangers. It's stuck in the middle of nowhere. Great. There's Alice who's anorexic. Caro who cuts herself. Silent Sol who has the cutest smile. And then there's me.

Review:

When Zelah Green was originally released as Zelah Green: Queen of Clean, I paid little or no attention to it. I'm not entirely sure why, I just know I didn't give it a second glance. This new cover made me think twice, and I'm really glad I gave it a go. I loved the writing style and Zelah's personality, and am looking forward to reading book 2 as soon as possible.

Zelah has a form of OCD, which makes her jump on a step a certain number of times, wash her hands a certain way, and change her shoes on a particular step. These rituals have literally taken over her life, and lead her stepmother to ship her off to a kind of mental health hospital. There Zelah meets some brilliant friends and mentors, each with different problems of their own.

Although Zelah Green sounds like a serious read, it's actually quite funny. Zelah's voice is clever, hard to ignore and not easily forgotten. The way she deals with her rituals is often humorous, with her thoughts providing a great insight into her life and her past. The friends she meets at Forest Hill House, including Caro, Sol, and Lib, are all beautifully written, and are all supportive yet flawed characters. It reminded me of a Big Brother house, in a way, as each personality was so drastically different, and all forced to share the same space.

Zelah Green is a fantastic book, and one that I'd highly recommend. It's a quick read, but has so much more substance than you'd initially think. I think I'll be reading anything Vanessa Curtis writes, whether it be more stories of Zelah or something completely different.

12 comments:

Dwayne said...

Ooh, I'll look forward to this, Jen. I think it'll make me understand them more if I read about someone with OCD from their POV. Awesome, thanks for the review!

Erika said...

this sounds like a really cute book! i like the premise, and that it's set in a hospital. thanks for the review!

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

My sister loved this. It's not often that OCD is represented in YA and I'd love to learn more about it.

Meredith said...

I'm putting this on my wishlist--sounds like an intriguing read! And I'm glad it's funny and not too depressing :) Thanks for the review!

I Want To Read That said...

I love the new covers for this series - I don't think the old ones did it justice. I really enjoyed it too which reminds me I need to look out for book 2. Thanks for the review:)

asamum said...

Wow great review. I would never have thought the book was about OCD. A definate to add to the wishlist. Thanks Jenny :D

The Book Bug said...

Fab review. I think that I may ahve to buy this one just for the cover. :)

I don't know if you know, but Joss Whedon did a couple of issues of Runaways - a Marvel comic that I happen to love - a while ago. It was quite good.

prophecygirl said...

Chloe - I did hear about those issues, but I've never read them. I'll try and get hold of them, thanks for the rec!

Jesse Owen said...

Great review, I'd never of guessed it looked at OCD from the title - it's heading onto my wishlist as I speak (well type).

Clover said...

I'd seen the book before, but I think the cover was horrible which is why I disregarded it, but I also didn't really know what it was about .. sounds pretty good.

Becky said...

I am looking forward to reading this. Another great example of an author writing about a really important issue and I love the sound of the humour. Fab review!

Anonymous said...

Ive read it its brilliant im looking forward to getting ' Zelah Green one more little problem ' for christmas does anyone know if thats good?