Stella is seventeen years old, sleepwalking through the last two weeks of high school in her meticulously designed California suburb. On the verge of attending Princeton and leaving behind the life she has by turns accepted and resented, she awakens to the fact that she has years of unanswered questions stored up.
Why is she suddenly unable to get through drama class and throw an imaginary beach ball without feeling sick? Why does her foster mother still jump when Stella enters the same room? Were there signs leading up to the deaths of her parents, years before, and do the songs of Billy Joel have a disguised message, just for her?
This is Stella's reality. Two weeks in her life break down into fragments, a stream of conciousness encompassing everything from the memory of the last time she saw her parents, to a bittersweet reunion with the first boy she ever loved.
The review of this Book prepared by Anna Froberg
Joy on 3/16/2016 9:00:08 AM says: This novel meant so much to me-as a slightly less cynical version of Stella I can accurately say how dead on this book is. I found this book in a time of my life where I could completely relate to the main character's sheer exhaustion and complete bleak apathy-and honestly it made the book for me. Stella was everything I was afraid to let myself believe and accept. Andrea Seigel did a fantastic job-Stella was fresh and hilarious-she was as insightful as she was jaded. My favorite thing about the book was the veiled symbolism and psychology throughout-how all the characters were connected together. That Stella was stuck in the middle between the choices of continuing her life and ending up like her grandfather, her escapist parents or 2 emotionally distant foster parents who could never actually emotionally support their children, and so instead she didn't she chose death. I loved her mind and how it worked, how her strong analytical intelligence led to her over compulsive tangents and eventual death, because she couldn't turn her brain off and had no other ultimate stimulation. Stella couldn't deal, instead of going mad she used school, but then school ran out. Being alone for most of her life because of a lack of friends and family led to her disillusionment-to me that makes sence. I think the only way one can just "wake up" one day and decide to end it all is if they never had a strong emotional support system, most people would then spend the rest of their lives trying to forge an emotional attachment or even people pleasing but Stella couldn't do that, because she was too precocious, she knew at the end of the day she had been alone for too long and could no longer relate. I think her grandfather had the same syndrome as she did-I'm hesitant to call it depression but I believe through her grandfathers personality her mother was equally unhappy-married someone who could emotionally relate-used drugs as a form of escaping-thus died and Stella put in the same situation. Not really sure about the Billy Joel thing, I kinda just chalk it up to her over thinking everything and Stella unconsciously blaming herself for her parents death. To be honest I'm glad Stella did what she did, maybe that's wrong but I don't believe she could ever really be happy. I liked the ending too...I'm not sure if I can spoil on a book review...whatever I'll be vague, in the end she relates to the only person who could understand.