Title: The Geography of Girlhood: A Novel in Verse
Author: Kirsten Smith
Pages: 184 p. (H.B.)
Publisher: Little, Brown and Co.
Rating: * * * */5
I like books that are written in a different style, like in verse as this one is. This author has a real talent for conveying important, major things as well as sweet, minor details, all in fun, well-written poems, each at the most a page and a half long.
For such a short book, it covers about four years- the partings, the reunions, the fights, the deaths, the love, and the spaces in between it all. I really couldn't find out a lot about Penny Morrow, the girl writing the poems, personality-wise. She was pretty much just an average teen girl with the small insecurities that matter so much to us all ( I can't tell you how much I sometimes obsess over if my eyes are too small, stuff like that :P), the crushes, and mistakes she makes.
Another thing is that you feel how Penny is feeling. When she faints that at one point talking to a boy who likes her, you feel like it happened to you and you feel her embarrassment. Good books do that.
Penny's mother left when she was almost 5. A few weeks before her mother left, on her 4th birthday, she gave Penny a globe and said, "If you ever need me, remember that I'm a;ways somewhere on here." She also said Penny was just like her. Then, weeks later, she was gone.
And Penny is like her- the best place she wants to be is away, and she's restless.
Penny has two best friends, Elaine and Denise. Denise is sick, like mentally, which you find out towards the end. She burned down her own house. Elaine, somewhere in the second year of the book, becomes a cheerleader and doesn't hang out with Penny that much anymore. Don't tell Denise, Penny, she says, and Denise says, Don't tell Elaine, Penny.
When she starts high school, which she has been dreading doing because a popular girl, Jenny, threatened to kill her when she got there. Instead, she starts being friends with Penny!
Most any teen girl can relate to Penny, and will probably enjoy this.