Sunday, 8 November 2009

The Center Of The Universe by Anita Liberty

Publisher: Simon Pulse Aus
Pub. Date: July 1st 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 160
Format: paperback
Source of copy: from the publisher - Simon Pulse Aus

Welcome to the story of my life. Well, at least the story of my junior and senior years of high school. It's a profound, touching, and hilarious (if I do say so myself) tale told through cunning poems, revelatory diary entries, perspicacious (look it up) word definitions, shrewd bits of advice, and off-the-cuff (but brilliant) insights. You'll probably relate to a lot of it. Especially the parts about hating my parents, never feeling cool enough, failing my first attempt at the SATs, having an incredibly romantic (but one-sided) relationship with the coolest guy in school, and getting hexed by my ex-best friend who became a Wiccan. And if you can't relate? Well, step to the back of that humongous line. You'll probably be right behind my family. If you're lucky, my mom'll bring snacks. How can I be who I am and who my family wants me to be when the person I am wouldn't be caught dead with the person my family wants me to be?

What makes a teenager's life dreadful? School? Mean girls? Bad boys aka jerks? No. Parents. At least that was how it was to thirteen-to-nineteen Ania Liberty. Truthful to the max, the story, or should I say a collection of significant memories of tthe author's teenage years, was an awesome read that would unintentionally make Anita Liberty a very best friend of every girl those ages.

The best quality of the book that was it was not fiction and it was hilarious. Told through diary entries, poems of all kinds, self-definition dictionary and even SAT questions, Anita's story was nothing but unique. There were no dialogues at all, not a single one, but somehow it was more captivating than any other normal stories. Even the unpleasant appearance of a small rat in the new apartment, under the pen of Anita Liberty, turned out to be worth-noticing.

Because, as I said above, The Center Of The Universe was purely about teenage life, it had everything that concerned a young adult: schoolwork, life at home, dating and making/breaking friendship. All of these were mixed with special flavors of Anita's humor and lovely poetry skills. This was the book that'd keep you smiling, chuckling and cracking up from the preface page to the acknowledgment.

Although it covered the six most exciting years of Anita's life, the book didn't have a particular change of voice at all. All I saw was a cheerful and somewhat silly girl who always remained positive and hopeful no matter what she had to face with. Everything that happened to her every day was a new experience and she took pleasure in it. People could make she feel bad and depressed sometimes, yet Anita moved on and had fun again just a little while after. Her world wasn't surely pink but she managed to see it that way.

Anita was amazing. Her character, or the younger version of her when she wrote this book, was someone I would befriend with by all means. She was interesting, if not for her hilariousness or friendliness than for her talent. I also admired the fact the Anita Liberty brave enough to show all the readers this part of her life, especially when she showed such strong hatred toward her family members.

To sum up, this book was a book that not only each and every teenager should have on their shelf but the adults may pick up as well. It was the perfect picture of the time when we were young, wild, and was the center of the universe - even though others believed it or not.

Rating: 4.5/5


gabe said...

You're making me want to read this, thanks! - I'm thinking it might be like "My Mother is a French Fry and Further Proof of my Fuzzed Up Life" by Colleen Sydor - a book I enjoyed.

Steph Su said...

Oh whoa! I never paid too much attention to this one because I really don't like the title, but you gave it a 4.5 - I'll have to check it out again. Thanks. :)

Carol(ina) said...

I agree with your review!

Diana Dang said...

Great review, I didn't know this was a memoir. I kept thinking it was fiction.