Tag Archives: novels

Second Star to the Right by Deborah Hautzig

Second Star to the Right by Deborah Hautzig Title: Second Star to the Right
Author: Deborah Hautzig
Publisher: Puffin Books
ISBN: 9780141305806
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 176
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5/5

I am back to my reading project of ‘The Novel Cure’ and this time since I finished D, I began with E – the first ailment being “Eating Disorders” and the first cure was “Second Star to the Right” by Deborah Hautzig. I didn’t realize the book was a young adult novel till I started reading it and since I love Young Adult Novels, I was completely bowled over.

Leslie Heller is a bright, attractive and a regular teenager who lives a life of privilege in New York City. Her life takes a drastic turn when she begins to diet in her quest for happiness and that becomes an obsession with her, to the point of death by starvation. She and her family struggle with it and at the same time Leslie also has to battle with her past and her Jewish roots.

The book deals with the emotional and mental trauma that an anorexia nervosa patient goes through. It is autobiographical and therefore the writing becomes so strong and emotional. Leslie as seen through Deborah (because she is based on her) is raw, intense and confused. The writing is heart-breaking as you see Leslie and her family coping with anorexia and coming to terms with what can be done to cure it.

“Second Star to the Right” puts a lot of things in perspective for teenagers, mainly about the issues of fitting-in and acceptance and what it takes in our world to be what you want to be. I think I will for one gift this book to every teenager I know to make him or her understand that life is not always about being accepted. It is about being who you want to be.

Next Up on the Novel Cure Reading Project:

Ailment: Egg on Your Tie
Cure: Restoration by Rose Tremain

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Authors I Love: #1 Margaret Atwood

From the time I started reading, “The Handmaid’s Tale”, I fell in love with Atwood. Her writing is so lucid and so political that one could never imagine that a writer could mix political and feminist issues with such ease – may be because they are intertwined at any given point. Margaret Atwood to a very large extent is also a funny writer – she does not bore the reader at any given point of time – be it “Cat’s Eye” or “The Robber Bride” – where she based her malicious women on fairy tale characters. And who can forget her shorter works – “The Penelopiad” (which I have reviewed) depicting the plight of Penelope to “The Tent” – a fantastic short collection of vignettes, to “The Blind Assassin” which is my personal favourite that reveals the dark side of living.

There are two reasons why I love reading Atwood: First, the way she brings her characters to life and second, she says everything she has to using words that fit the emotion. I have not read any of her non-fiction and poetry,  though I will someday and looking forward to reading, “The Year of the Flood”.