Leah Lobermeir couldn’t feel more self-conscious about herself and her life. After all, people call her vulgar names, make fun of her for being overweight, and overlook her. Leah’s “best friends”, Kristy and Corinne, outdo her in everything: looks, boys, and money. Leah wishes that her life could be normal, that she could be skinnier and popular, that her mother wasn’t so drunk all the time and her father was still alive… until that fateful day. When Leah, Kristy, and Corinne meet a man they dub Mr. Corduroy, he gives Leah his phone number so he can talk to Kristy. But Leah has other plans. She phones him, gives herself the name Ashley, and bonds with him. She continues to act like Kristy, and Leah can’t stop thinking about him. Things get very scary and sketchy, however, and Leah realizes that she must put an end to their relationship before things go terribly wrong.
I’ve never seen any novels by Aurelia Wills, so I thought I’d give this one a shot. I’m sure glad I did! This book is beautifully written and really depicted haunting themes that I never envisioned reading about. It really made me realize that we only see what meets the surface, not how someone truly is on the inside. I found this book to be relatable because, like Leah, I have many layers that you need to peel away before discovering the real me. I also have far from a perfect life. This novel should be read by all teenagers growing up because it really opens up your eyes to other issues in the world. The situations were so mysterious and kept me on the edge of my seat. I enjoyed the way Aurelia Wills was able to take the reader into the mind of Leah. I imagined myself in her shoes and wondered what life would be like if I was in her place.
I really admired the way Leah admitted her mistakes and learned from them. It’s very hard for people to own up to their actions, yet Leah was able to comprehend them and ensure that she didn’t do the same thing again. I also loved how she tried her best to remain strong, though she had many rough patches in her life. It’s not easy to keep yourself together, so I applaud Leah for being able to do so.
Reviewed by Mitali, Grade 9, Twin Hickory Area Library