Under Construction

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Heart is Not a Size by Beth Kephart

The Heart is Not a Size by Beth Kephart 4 of 5 stars.

Georgia knows what it means to keep secrets. She knows how to ignore things. She knows that some things are better left unsaid. . . Or are they?
When Georgia and her best friend, Riley, travel along with nine other suburban Pennsylvania kids to Anapra, a squatters' village in the heat-flattened border city of Juarez, Mexico, secrets seem to percolate and threaten both a friendship and a life. Certainties unravel. Reality changes. And Georgia is left to figure out who she is outside the world she's always known. (book blurb)

The Heart is Not a Size is a book about one girl's struggle with acceptance. Accepting the fact that her best friend has a serious problem, accepting the fact the the panic attacks aren't going away on their own, and accepting the responsibility of being a good friend, even if it means risking a long-lived friendship in the process.
When Georgia sees the flier for a trip to help a community near Juarez, Mexico, she sees an escape. An escape from the many truths she is hiding from herself, denying. She sees it as a chance for her and her best friend Riley to get away from their problems, to bury them, once and for all. What she doesn't expect is being forced to face the truth in the arid desert of Mexico, where reality is survival--not perfection.

In her writing, Beth Kephart was able to capture the soft cadences of the mind, she was able to put brilliant words to indescribable sensations. One of the many parts of this book I found amazingly well written was when Kephart describes Georgia's panic attacks. She says: "Panic, I'm telling you, begins in the heart. Panic is big buzzard wings banging wretched and trapped against the bones of your ribs, knocking your windpipe loose, swiping your logic."
The two places I believe Kephart failed in her writing was in the passage of time and in the plot. There are places throughout the story where I'm not quite sure Georgia was narrating from. It seemed to skip alot from senior year to sophomore year and other times, without my being fully aware of it. The plot was also a bit strange. While I adore the story and the plot that is there, I felt there were alot of loose ends left untied, subplots not fully filled out. The book seemed to end rather abruptly. I didn't really feel like the conclusion summed up Georgia's experiences in Mexico. I also felt like just when I was getting to know the characters, she took them away.
But on the good side of things, The Heart is Not a Size, was a beautifully narrated story that moved along at a nice pace with plenty for you to think about. I enjoyed all of the descriptions and the characters. Georgia was a wonderful heroine and I think many girls will be able to relate to her relationship with Riley and both of their struggles. All in all, this is a very good novel that I strongly suggest to everyone!

For fans of: Beth Kephart, Tom Dolby, Catherine Banner
To order a copy of The Heart is Not a Size by Beth Kephart from Amazon.com click here.


Joanne Brothwell said...

Just found your blog - it's beautiful!

Arya said...


09 10