Candlewick, 2005 (2005)
Reviewed by Lyn Seippel
ollywood teenager, Victoria Jurgen (aka
) chooses to live a solitary existence. She expects to be valedictorian of her class, is an accomplished photographer for the school's newspaper, the Melrose Lion, and belongs to the Sci-Fi Club. She's happiest when she goes the entire school day without speaking to another student.
ictoria's not your usual loner. Her favorite sci-fi character is
in the movie
. Victoria borrows her name and style of dress, and she shaves her head and eyebrows - which makes her stand out in a crowd, but also makes her
. Or so she thinks. Max, a gifted cartoonist, transfers to Melrose High during the second semester. In two of Victoria's classes, he also joins the Melrose Lion staff. She discourages his attempts at friendship, just as she discourages everyone's attempts. Why then, is she so jealous when he hooks up with Nelly, the newspaper editor? After Victoria manages to alienate any possible friends in the Sci-Fi Club and on the newspaper staff, she begins to see that some things are more fun when you can share them. Alone, but not lonely, only applies when you have a choice.
lthough we are left to wonder why Victoria prefers to be alone,
is a first-rate read by new author, Cecil Castelluci. Victoria - quirky, quick-witted, and definitely not lacking in self-esteem - is a character the reader won't soon forget.
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