Sunday, August 3, 2008

I saw an episode like this on The Wonder Years

Andrea Anderson is a typical high school girl. Her drunken father ran away from home when she was younger so now she is living with her mom. She’s blends in with her surroundings and that’s because she isn’t popular and she doesn’t do anything extraordinary. In her mind she isn’t pretty (oh no not another girl who thinks they’re ugly!) and she doesn’t have any real friends. Andrea sits back and observes the world around her.

One day Andrea’s mother tells her that their neighbor is ill and in the hospital. She wants Andrea to walk the neighbor’s dog. Andrea is reluctant at first, but agrees. Later, when the neighbor comes home they strike up and interesting (although somewhat predictable) relationship.

As the story progresses, Honora asks Andrea if she will work around her house doing little jobs because Honora is sick with cancer. Andrea quickly accepts because she enjoys walking Honora’s dog and enjoys her neighbors company. The time with Honora is a time of self discovery, blah, blah, blah…

Everyone I knew raved about this book, and maybe that was the problem. Maybe I was so hyped up when I got it that when I started to read it I couldn’t understand what all the hype was about. The ending was predictable and I could see it coming from a mile away. Some have said that’s not the point, it’s about Andrea’s self discovery. Yeah, ok, fine, but I still wasn’t sold on that either. The book is OK. I found the characters typical. Andrea thought she was ugly, Honora reminded me of some hippy sage, and her mother acted like an average mom.

I suppose the good part is that this is a story about a young woman trying to find herself. I’m sure there are other books out there like this, but I can’t think of any at the moment. Typically, it’s always the young man who is trying to discover who he really is.

For students who enjoy books that are about average teens, living typical lives then this is the book for them. For those who want something with a little more excitement and less predictability then this is not the novel for them.

But I still think I saw an episode like this on The Wonder Years.

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