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Haley Andromeda is 16, and in her last year of high school - "The Greatest Year of My Life," or TGYML. Haley likes to think she's just a normal girl, plagued with all the normal doubts of a too-smart-for-her-own-good, slightly hypochondriac, hickey-prone teenager. But part way through the year, disaster strikes: Haley comes down with chickenpox; her best friend Jules won't speak to her; the object of her affections, a boy named J. T., won't even look at her; and worst of all, her harmless hippie Dad is in some mysterious trouble with the law. In desperation, Haley turns to the Ouija board and tries to communicate with the Other Side, but this leads to a further, unexpected complication: Why does the dead boy she channels seem more attractive than the real boy who wants to spend time with her? The Healing Time of Hickeys, written in diary form, takes the reader on a compelling, wryly funny journey to discover the answer to this question, and several more that Haley thinks she keeps hidden from everyone.
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Grade 10 Up–Hypochondriac Haley Andromeda Harmony, 16, is ready to embark on TGYHL (The Greatest Year of Her Life). She is starting her senior year with her best friends Jules and Kiki. Told through Haley's journal entries, the story gives readers a glimpse of a life shaped by parental abandonment; an unemployed, '60s-throwback father who grows marijuana to pay their rent; two friends who aren't always so friendly; and a tendency toward getting hickeys. When the teen meets a "cute-ish stranger" at a party, her life begins to change. He gives her chicken pox and from there everything spirals out of control, leading to one half-hearted toke of a joint, experimentation with a Ouija board, a hospital stay, a police raid, and a meeting with her long-gone mother. Haley is a bright, realistic, and appealing protagonist, whose wry wit and brilliant naïveté help her transcend her situation. The author's excellent turns of phrase, convincing dialogue, and honest picture of teen life make this book a winner. The journal covers September through New Year's Day, leading teens to anticipate another installment. Though many issues are dispatched with too easily (drugs are out of the basement, Dad's on the road to employment, the desperate crush on an unattainable boy is gone), YAs will still want to know the outcome of TGYHL.–Elaine Baran Black, Gwinnett County Public Library, Lawrenceville, GA
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Gr. 9-12. The heroine of this piece, writing in her diary, compares herself to Bridget Jones--and no wonder. Sixteen-year-old Haley's lively recitation distinctly recalls Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones' Diary (1998), as well as Louise Rennison's books (though without the heavy British slang). Haley has a lot to write about. She is a hypochondriac; her father is a hippie who sells marijuana for a living; and the love of her life, J. T., barely knows she's alive. All this becomes droll comic fodder for Haley, who, during the time she writes in her diary (The Greatest Year of My Life aka TGYML) does become seriously ill, temporarily loses her dad to jail, and finds a real boyfriend--consequently learning how long it takes hickeys to heal. The diary format is certainly derivative, but that doesn't mean this isn't funny. Teens who like the format (or who can overlook it) will find recognizable events painted with a patina of the absurd. Ilene Cooper
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Book Description Raincoast Books, Polestar, 2004. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX1551926008
Book Description Raincoast Books, Polestar, 2004. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1551926008