Sunday, February 15, 2015
YA REVIEW: ALTHEA AND OLIVER
Althea and Oliver is not your typical “girl next door” fairy tale, not the kind of polished fairy tale Disney would create. It's fun and it's exciting, but it's bittersweet. Personally, I thought this book was a giant ice cream sandwich; the center was delicious, but the edges were kind of sticky. In this story, Oliver has a condition that keeps him from leading his life the way he wants. The condition gets in the way of his relationship with Althea, who sort of runs off the rails. Altogether, it's emotionally complicated. I found I was sucked in by this book, but it was painful to read about how much both Althea and Oliver were suffering. Althea and Oliver is a crazy, unplanned, unsettling road trip.
Even though Math and English generally aren't associated, I think mathematically Cristina Moracho's book has the right amounts of all the essential stuff. It is funny, but it still seams real enough to make a point. It really emphasizes how different loving and being in love are. Knowing someone inside-out doesn't make you necessarily fall in love with them, or make you their perfect match. As your world expands, so does your ability to find people you can relate to. So the people you grew up with aren't anchored to you, they can change and drift apart. Althea and Oliver really represents this kind of growth. Althea and Oliver is an enjoyable read. However, I don't think it's meant to be simply touching. It surprisingly teaches a lesson. It was a typical teenage romantic crisis roller coaster, but with the bitter aftertaste of reality.
Johanna de Jong is a senior at Bishop Macdonell.