'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 5 September 2011

Review: Zelah Green: Who says I'm a Freak?

Zelah Green is a 14-year-old girl who has a set of rituals and checklists that must be performed before leaving or entering her home. Such habits include jumping on the top step 128 times, washing her hands 31 times, having all clothing spaced exactly 4cm apart in her wardrobe (with a ruler always accessible when necessary) and the list goes on….

In a nutshell … Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Or Zelah’s wording for it: DIRT ALERT and GERM ALERT. (Although Dirt Alert is not as serious as Germ Alert.)

Unfortunately, Zelah’s world is about to come crashing down around her when she returns home from school, her bags packed by her stepmother, ready to be carted off to a hospital.

Zelah lands in a home for wayward teenagers with a number of interesting disorders. Although the themes and issues surrounding the other adolescent characters are quite dark, the author has included problems that are relevant to the lives of ‘Generation Ys’.

I found the book to be interesting and found myself wanting to find out more about the backgrounds of the other teenagers. How they came to develop such problems? As Zelah comes to terms with her disorder, she realises that the other teenagers are simply like her, people who are not solely characterised by their disorder, but have their own personality and experience to offer others. 

I was particularly pleased with the manner in which the book sends a strong message about acceptance and respect for diversity.

- Review by Bree Sherd

Title: Zelah Green: Who says I'm a freak
Author: Vanessa Curtis
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont, $16.95 RRP
Publication Date: Jan 2011
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781405255059
For ages: 12+
Type: YA Fiction