Heart

My book for the February Book A Month Challenge was heart, you bully, you punk by Leah Hager Cohen. The title of the book is taken from the first line of Marie Ponsot's poem One is One, printed in full at the beginning.

I have to say, I really loved this book - until the end. The story follows developing relationships between Esker, a high school math teacher; her student, Ann James; and Ann's father, Wally. The point of view rotates among these three characters, and Cohen has a beautiful way of describing thoughts and emotions that really made me feel as if I knew these people. The prose is such that I wish that I could describe my OWN thoughts and feelings so well, that I might know this much about myself. Very compelling, and it draws you in.

My only complaint is that the book has no resolution. It simply ends. One might argue that this is how life really is, that any story doesn't really have an ending, that our lives meander along until we die. However, I like my stories to have resolutions, a sense of closure. I had stayed up late to finish, because I really didn't know how things would turn out. I was hoping for a happy ending, and I felt so mad and cheated when the book just topped that I nearly threw it on the floor. Obviously, I was pretty emotionally invested.

Now that it's been a couple of weeks, though, I can say that I didn't hate the book. I've gotten over my anger and disappointment. Any tale that can get me that riled up about ending (instead of just waiting for the book to be over) is a good one. I haven't read a book as well written in a while, and I would definitely recommend it - as long as you can accept that it might not have a happy ending - or any ending at all.

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