The Implosion of Aggie Winchester

Lara Zielin, Author
Lara Zielin. Putnam, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-399-25411-6
Reviewed on: 06/06/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-101-50825-1
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-101-51765-9
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One of Zielin's strengths as a writer is that she really "gets" teens: their voices, angst, and insecurities. Another is that she's not afraid to throw her protagonists into no-win situations and watch them claw their way out. Aggie Winchester, a junior and self-professed goth, thoroughly resents her mother—who is also the principal of Aggie's high school, which fuels her rebellious, self-destructive behavior. But then Aggie's best friend, Sylvia, gets pregnant and is nominated for prom queen, an old boyfriend rears his gorgeous but devious head, and Aggie discovers that her mother has breast cancer. Though Aggie is not always a lovable main character, Zielin (Donut Days) keeps her real and honest. As Aggie heads ever deeper into the hole she's dug for herself, she grapples with some tough choices. Should she have sex with her old boyfriend to get him back? Should she rat on Sylvia, who may have rigged the prom queen election? How can she make her mother actually listen to her? For teens confronting similar questions, Aggie's realistically bumpy journey will be welcome, timely, and thoroughly satisfying. Ages 14–up. (Aug.)
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