When I was in New York a couple weeks ago, my boyfriend and I were looking in bookstores, and I kept seeing this book... and I was mentally freaking out. I had just found out that it is a Cybils nominee... and 808 pages!!!!!
Then, it arrived on my doorstep... I automatically assumed that the package had two or three review copies in it... but no, just the one.
But what an amazing one it was! I was absolutely blown away. I know I can't write this review so that it actually conveys the scope of this novel, but I'll tell you a little bit about it.
Cordelia Kenn is 19 years old and is writing the story of her life for her unborn child. This story unfolds in six parts, each one a separate pillow book (a Japanese journaling tradition). She (or Chambers, really) begins with the story of how she meets Will Blacklin, and how they fall in love. She describes their relationship in stunningly rich detail, and all of her emotions just seem so real, so familiar. So familiar in fact that there were times I wanted to stop Cordelia from making mistakes I've made.
I won't tell you much more of the plot, because I think the story is more enjoyable if you don't know what is coming next (I made the mistake of reading some reviews on Amazon, and I wished I hadn't), but her story continues from there, with each "pillow book" taking on a different format. The second pillow book is the most difficult to read, as Chambers presents two stories, one on the left-hand side of the page that consists of mini essays on different topics, and one on the right that tells one continuous story. The fourth pillow book takes the form of a glossary (with a plotline running through it).
I'm not sure how many teenagers would have the patience to read a book this long (or that many adults, for that matter)... but as far as I'm concerned, it was well worth it.