Monday, October 31, 2011
The Implosion of Aggie Winchester
G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2011
I spotlighted this book on a Book Blogger Hop awhile back for "crazy book title" due to its inclusion of "implosion" which I don't think I've ever seen used for a title and for including the main character's full name. Having read the book now, I think the title is very apt as Aggie's life does seem to be falling apart.
During her first year in school, a popular girl made Aggie's life miserable due to her status as the principal's daughter. In turn Aggie became best friends with goth outcast Sylvia and has projected a tough outer shell. Now though Sylvia is pregnant with the most popular guy in school's baby and is determined to build a family with him; Aggie is skeptical but as she tries to gently warn Sylvia, she is only pushed away. Then there are the two guys with confusing intentions, Aggie's mom's cancer, and a huge school scandal that blows up to the national news. And Aggie is deeply embedded in all of those plots-is it any wonder that she feels like her life is imploding?
I had some trouble bonding with Aggie, who's so angsty in the beginning but I quickly fell for her as she tries to navigate the minefields around her. It seems like she can do nothing right with almost everyone in her life turning on her on a dime. So glad my high school experience was better! The worst part for me was the mistrust of her parents. Her mother thinks Aggie is sexually active despite repeated assurances of the hospital and other attempts to talk about things end only in frustrated miscommunications. It was so sad.
In the whole, I thought there was a little too much going on (see my plot summary) but for the most part, all of the separate plot threads were juggled well and came together in coherent if mostly predictable ways. And even though I could see what would happen, I enjoyed Zielin's writing and the way she brought it all together.
Overall: A fine contemporary with a generally fast pace and an easy to root for main character.