When the school year begins, Elizabeth Carter's life is fantastic, and she is a happy, confident, well-adjusted teenager. She and her best friend Meg are not only on the school tennis team but they are even candidates for the varsity level. Elizabeth is in advanced classes and already planning for a bright future. She is ecstatic when greatly-admired Brad Evans asks her out. Slowly and insidiously, though, Brad takes over her life. Readers will find themselves traveling with Elizabeth on a tumultuous journey filled with both joy and pain that ultimately is a search for love, friendship, and identity.
Losing Elizabeth addresses the very core of teen life experience, which is learning to engage in meaningful relationships at the same time as an independent sense of self is developing. The novel reaches the young adult reader deep inside her heart and soul and speaks not only to what she likes, but to whom she is and what she is becoming.
When I first read the summary for Losing Elizabeth, I was very excited to dig into it. I'm a fan of stories that get into this girl-falling-all-over-a-guy-and-forgetting-she-is-a-human-too thing because I'm watching it happen a lot, and it drives me buggy. I hadn't found any books that focus solely on this issue yet, so I was very happy it was sent to me!
When I started reading, though, I found the novel to be quite abrupt. I was mentally adding paragraphs and sentences a lot, and rewording a couple times. Some of the things Lizzie (in particular) would say seemed like they shouldn't be dialog, and though it was written in third-person, the characters thoughts would sometimes take up one to three paragraphs in a row, making it seem like a first-person novel.
The other thing that was a little quick-paced was the characters themselves. Lizzie fell all over Brad even though he was a dick right off the bat; Meg changed her mind about Brad being a good guy or a bad guy in about thirty seconds flat; and the ending (which I won't give away) was resolved really fast for someone who's been in that type of relationship for weeks...
In spite of that I did keep coming back for more, though (I still think I was just hoping Brad would get hit by a truck at some point). It was a good read, but I think it needed a little extra umph.