January 23, 2013

Hating Heidi Foster by Jeffery Blount

Description: Mae McBride and Heidi Foster were the very best of friends. Tied at the hip from early elementary school, their relationship was the stuff of storybooks, legendary even, in the minds of their high school classmates.Unshakable. 

That is, until Mae's father died while saving Heidi's life. When Mae finds out, she blames Heidi. She blames her father for putting Heidi ahead of her. She blames her friends for taking Heidi’s side. She begins to unravel amid that blame and her uncontrollable and atypical anger. At the same time Heidi is beset by guilt, falls into depression and stops eating properly; wasting away physically and emotionally while waiting for Mae to let her back into the friendship she misses so dearly. 

Mae, consumed by her hatred of Heidi, the confusion regarding her father’s motives, the perceived desertion of her friends and her mother’s grief, loses more and more of herself.
What could possibly bring these two old friends back to each other? A miracle?

Hating Heidi Foster, is a young adult novel about the place of honor true friendships hold in our lives. It is about suffering and loss and the ethics of grief. It is about a deep and painful conflict, the bright light of selflessness and sacrifice and the love that rights the ship and carries us safely to port. Goodreads

  • What you HAVE to understand about this book is the fact that it isn't a lavish tale. It doesn't go into deep description or characterize all that much. What it does is highlight the importance of it's message. That message: The importance of friendship. 
  • This book is good in the way that it defines real grief. The blind rage we get when someone passes, the guilt when someone sacrifices for us, the hole that a person can leave in our life. 
  • It was fairly quick read. It's only about one-hundred pages long and it's stuffed pretty full.
  • Even though this book doesn't have much depth into the characters you still can fill that void with the little the author gives you. He gives you a skeleton and you can fill it in the way you want. 
  • The idea that a character blames their best friend for their fathers death? Very, very human. This is the reason why I agreed to review this book. This idea intrigued me and I wanted to see how it played out. 
  • "Look at all the misery we've had to face with only the cliches to comfort us." pg 39. It seems like this should be a lyric in a song. It's beautiful. 
  • You have no idea what Mae or her mother or Heidi even look like. This characterization is needed for a clear picture in your head. I felt like I only saw a vague and blurry picture of what it could be. A book should take you there. 
  • This is probably just a I-am-the-only-one-who-really-cares-about-this-sort-of-thing thing but it drives me nuts. She calls her Mom Mummy and her Dad Daddy. She's fourteen, not four. Now I get the Daddy and I can over look it but Mummy? It just makes me think about Docto Who. (I also feel this way about the word tummy. We are not little kids.) (It's not just that it's used but that it is used through the whole book. I mean if you call them Mom for most of the book and then Mummy when you are sad or really need them that's fine but the whole book? I just can't do it, self edit sets in.)
Overall: This book is like a gem that could use some polishing but it still shines without it. A great commentary on loss and life. 

-Kare Out-

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