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Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty

Feeling Sorry for Celia (2000)

by Jaclyn Moriarty

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Like the other [a:Jaclyn Moriarty|47290|Jaclyn Moriarty|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1199066598p2/47290.jpg] book I read recently ([b:Finding Cassie Crazy|12273769|Finding Cassie Crazy|Jaclyn Moriarty|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MZzFcykPL._SL75_.jpg|2161186]), this is written in epistolary format and includes letters, the backs of postcards, and random notes. The notes from Elizabeth’s mother were probably my favorite bits as they all started in a similar way to how I started this review (HERE IS A NOTE!!! RIGHT NEXT TO THE REFRIGERATOR!!! ) and her mother would give her topics to think on and/or discuss—what she thinks of purple nail polish, what a catchy slogan could be for a product, or thoughts on socks. (I have a lot of thoughts on socks and have, on numerous occasions, been accused (rightly) of stealing socks from my roommates. I practice the old “sibling rule” that if you leave it in my room, it becomes mine.) Liz’s mother cracked me up--“I hope you feel better today. Please ring me at work if you are dead."

Because I read one other Ashbury High book before this one, I can’t help but compare and I enjoyed Finding Cassie Crazy more. The humor was more consistent and I found myself more invested in each of the relationships. The tone here felt more serious and, while I did find much of it humorous, those moments were further apart. (how many times can I say the word ‘more’?) Rather than focusing on a group of friends and their pen pals, Feeling Sorry for Celia catalogs the formation of one friendship (Liz and her pen pal Christina) while Liz is simultaneously having trouble in her relationship with her best friend Celia. I had a hard time with Celia’s character because she was flighty and (overly) adventurous. I see how Celia’s home situation contributed to her wanderlust but it doesn’t mean that I think she’s a good friend to Liz. The developing friendship between Liz and Christina was lovely, as they both supported each other from the get-go and actually cared what was going on in the other’s life. Celia seemed like one of those friends you dread calling because they will just ramble on about their life and never ask you about how you’re doing.

My friend and I were talking the other day about authors we adore enough to read everything they ever write. I think Jaclyn Moriarty is a kindred spirit. (Anne with an ‘e’ would definitely think so) She is funny, her characters are endearing, and she is successful at wring epistolary YA. Keep doing it, JM, and I will keep buying and reading everything you write. In fact, I have the two remaining Ashbury/Brookfield books already lined up.
( )
  FlanneryAC | Mar 31, 2013 |
Another reread of an old favorite. I love epistolary books anyhow, and this one is particularly amusing with letters from little clubs and societies that don't exist. I really enjoy the localized Australian content in the book, which might make it difficult for some American readers, but serves to really set the narrative. Beyond that, the descriptions of what each character is going through are very realistic and thoroughly engaging. ( )
  themythicalcodfish | Aug 1, 2012 |
"Elizabeth Clarry is a 15 year old with an unreliable friend and tons of letters in her life. The letters which are from her psyche, her mother, her penpal etc, make up the text of the novel.

Now, letters as novels can get a bit gimmicky "
read more at: http://likeiamfeasting.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/feeling-sorry-for-celia-jaclyn-mor... ( )
  mongoosenamedt | Jul 23, 2012 |
Dear Lauren,
Didn't Elizabeth's dog die when she went on a trip? Think about that next time you go anywhere.
Love, your beloved Chihuahua Seamus

Feeling sorry for Celia was a lovely book about the complications of relationships. Elizabeth Clarry's teacher has assigned them to write to kids from another school to rediscover the joys of letters in envelopes.
This book was in it's own way hearkening back to a time where everyone wasn't texting while talking to someone else. The book was published in 2000 when people did email but twitter and Facebook hadn't happened.
I can only imagine the drama Christina's friend Maddie would've brought on with those tools. Celia might have had a harder time disappearing though. Maddie sounds like the sort of girl who would be texting others while your talking or interrupt you mid-sentence to call someone else.
This story was a shining example on how meaningful a penpal friendship can be. Celia was self absorbed and selfish. She represented a true account of how manic depressives can be on those who love them. They can be exciting but not reliable and you can never do enough for them.

The teenage association letters were cruel. My mom once told me when I was a teen that I didn't lead an exciting enough life. She took off with boys to led Zeppelin concerts in other states at age thirteen. I listened to the cure and the Smiths while reading books. No arrests for skipping school or fake seizures to rob drugstores for me. My aunt was pretty wild.
Teen movies have a way of glamourising that age. There just isn't time to have an active social life, school, work, family, data, etc. and be perfect.
This book got that perfect.

My mom told us "whatever you want to fix" was for dinner so Elizabeth's mum didn't seem that bad to me. I find the helicopter parenting strange. Celia's mother would be arrested for neglect in America. Elizabeth's mom seemed normal to me. ( )
  peptastic | Jun 19, 2012 |
Jaclyn Moriarty's hilariously candid novel shows that the roller coaster ride of being a teenager is every bit as fun as it is harrowing.
So, as you might have read, this novel is not written in tipical narrative. Instead it follows Elizabeth's life through hilarious notes from her crazy mother, heartfelt letters exchanged to her new pen-pal and outragious letters sent from societies such as "The Association of Teenagers" expressing what she is thinking.

I absolutely positively loved this book, and cannot wait to get my hands on the rest of her series, and her other book, The Spellbook of Listen Taylor. Jaclyn Moriarty creates such delightful, witty, and entertaining characters that are hard not to love, and just an overall spectacular novel. ( )
  chlokie | Feb 5, 2011 |
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To my family, including Grandma, and to Colin
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Dear Ms Clarry,

It has come to our attention that you are incredibly bad at being a teenager.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312287364, Paperback)

A #1 Bestseller in Australia and Book Sense 76 Pick

Life is pretty complicated for Elizabeth Clarry. Her best friend Celia keeps disappearing, her absent father suddenly reappears, and her communication with her mother consists entirely of wacky notes left on the fridge. On top of everything else, 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 verge of some major changes. She may lose her best friend, find a wonderful new friend, kiss the sexiest guy alive, and run in a marathon.
So much can happen in the time it takes to write a letter...

A #1 bestseller in Australia, this fabulous debut is a funny, touching, revealing story written entirely in the form of letters, messages, postcards—and bizarre missives from imaginary organizations like The Cold Hard Truth Association.

Feeling Sorry for Celia captures, with rare acuity, female friendship and the bonding and parting that occurs as we grow. Jaclyn Moriarty's hilariously candid novel shows that the roller coaster ride of being a teenager is every bit as fun as we remember—and every bit as harrowing.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:44 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A #1 bestseller in Australia, this fabulous debut is a funny, touching, revealing story written entirely in the form of letters, postcards, and missives from imaginary organizations such as "The Cold Hard Truth Association." "Edgy and irreverent . . . a sharp, witty take on friendship, family, and the roller-coaster ride of adolescence."--"Gotham" magazine.… (more)

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