Monday, December 14, 2009

"Looks" by Madeleine George

Meghan, a morbidly-obese sophomore, spends her school days trying to disappear from the eyes and thoughts of the often cruel high school students and personnel. A master at stealing blank passes from the school secretary, she spends much of the day in the nurse's office or a neglected music room, all the better to avoid the vicious taunts made by the clique of football players who torment her. Meghan is quite successful at maintaining her "invisibility" until a new girl arrives at school. Aimee, a talented poet deep in the denial of an eating disorder, is as thin as Meghan is large. After Meghan sees Aimee being befriended by Cara, a girl who did Meghan a great wrong in the past, she is roused to warn Aimee, even if it means once again opening herself to others. When Aimee is indeed betrayed by Cara, the two plot join together to plot revenge.
George's writing is hypnotic - sparse, elegant, and revealing - drawing the reader into the story of this unlikely pair. The opening scene has one flying through the clouds to finally zero through the school's very walls to witness the characters within, but by the end of the book, one feels as though they have zeroed in on Meghan's and Aimee's very souls. One is left to wonder - is their revenge justified? Will the damage done by past betrayals be healed?
I would rate this book FOUR and a HALF out of five stars.

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