Taken to Another Place

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          Belzhar is a young adult novel by Meg Wolitzer.

          Belzhar is a young adult novel by Meg Wolitzer. It tells a story about a girl named Jam Gallahue who is in love with her British boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield in New Jersey. Her life is simple and worry-free until Reeve dies. She is crushed, and spends day after day in bed crying. Her parents send her to a boarding school in Vermont for "emotionally fragile, highly intelligent" students as a last resort for her to get better. There, she is placed in a mysterious class called Special Topics in English with only 5 students, and although she doesn’t want to go, she also wants to see what all the rumors are about. The teacher of this class is an old lady named Mrs. Q. She is different from all other teachers, as she only teaches one book and one author for the whole semester. The students connect with each other and the author while reading. As an assignment, Jam is given a journal to write in which somehow transports her to another place where she is with Reeve again. It is like a dream, but somehow she isn’t asleep. She can feel, talk, and be happy with Reeve. As she starts to bond with her classmates, she realizes that they are going through the same thing, with different scenarios. They call this Belzhar. This book takes the reader on a journey through love, mystery, and healing.

         

          I couldn't stop reading this book because it was so different from other books I have read. It was relatable in some ways, but also added some sort of magic, without being childish or immature in any way. This is a young adult book, so it isn't for all ages, but I think that 12+ is a good age limit. I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars because I was hooked the whole way through, but the ending was slightly disappointing.