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Book Review: Love, Meg by C. Leigh Purtill

Posted Aug 12 2008 5:09pm

Meg and her sister Lucie have always moved around a lot; sometimes three times in one year, they will pack up their belongings, move into a new apartment where Lucie starts a new, dead end, crappy job and Meg will start a new school. Meg’s life seems as shaken and impermanent as the boxes of belongings that never receive a proper place in their new apartment and the WalMart bought, particle board furniture that isn’t likely to survive many more life altering moves.

Because of their sporadic lifestyle, Meg has become accustomed to starting new schools and reinventing herself; she has went by a handful of different names as she grew up and has settled in with being the permanent new girl, finding a new friend to socialize with until her time in that neighborhood was through where she would be forced to repeat the same steps again and again.

Meg was told by Lucie throughout her life that their parents had died, which is why Meg had never known any parental figure besides her older sister. But while Lucie was the only parental figure in Meg’s life, she did not play that part in her sister’s life and often barely played the part of her sister. Lucie was often consumed by selfishness; with her string of boyfriends, how she felt, what she was going through and while there were elements that Lucie did try to provide an okay life for Meg, Meg had been disappointed by Lucie and their life far too many times.

While her sister was busy living her life and Meg feeling as if she didn’t truly belong there, or anywhere, Meg confided in the Friends celebrity, Jennifer Aniston, to get her through the rough times in her life. For years, she and Jennifer had exchanged letters about what Meg was going through at the time, how she was feeling and Jen would respond with worldly advice always leading Meg in the right direction. Even when Jen’s letters had stopped, Meg kept writing for years after and always thought of Jen as the supportive friend she had known her to be through her letters.

When Meg finds out that Lucie isn’t the only family that she has and that she had been lied to her entire life by Lucie; the only person she has had to count on and trust, Meg decides that upon hearing about a family she never knew she had, she wants to know more. In hopes to experience what a real family feels like and have a life that Lucie had always failed to give her, Meg travels across the country, from Hollywood, California to Astoria, New York to live with her Uncle Lonnie and Grandmother, Alma.

Meg’s life in Astoria is completely different from the life she lead in Hollywood. For the first time in her life, and after a little adjusting, she felt at home, as if she had a place of permanence. She goes on to become friends with a small clique of three other girls and makes a life for herself in New York while helping her Uncle with her Grandmother, who is suffering from cancer due to being a life-long smoker. The life Meg makes for herself in New York, while it does hold its own set of problems and setbacks, is a great experience for Meg and what she finds out about herself and others in New York gives her the opportunity to find out the truth about the life that Lucie had never spoken of to Meg. For the first time in her life, Meg experiences what it is like to have best friends, to have a first date and to have her first boyfriend, Juny; the older brother of her new best friend–Who is such a sweet and amazing guy that made me immediately think that every woman needs to have Juny in her life.

Throughout her time in New York and learning more about herself and her family, Meg starts to understand Lucie more than she thought possible. Meg truly makes the best out of everything she is given in life and just with the way she starts to think by the end of the book makes you realize how grown up Meg really is, taking on responsibilities and putting her life into perspective. She makes life altering decisions and successfully deals with what life throws at her, coming out of her experiences as a well-balanced, intelligent young adult who has taken control of her own life and realizes where she belongs.

Love, Meg was a fast, exciting and exceptional read. Though I did see the twists and turns Meg’s life makes throughout the novel coming before they happened, that in no way means that Purtill doesn’t know how to put together a truly enjoyable novel. I just happen to be a self-proclaimed bookworm, am a significantly well read person and also have a knack for guessing the end of thriller movies. It is also worthy to keep in mind that Purtill’s novels fall under the category of young adult and most definitely excite and thrill the pants off of her target market, while also succeeding in giving adult women a fast paced and gratifying read.

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