Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Review: Something Wicked by Lesley Anne Cowan

Published by Puffin Canada

Pub date: June 1, 2010

224 pages,

Ages 14+
Sixteen-year-old Melissa’s most recent troubles stem from a secret: her twenty-eight-year-old boyfriend, Michael, has just broken up with her. Even though the relationship is clearly over, Melissa clings to the past, riding a never-ending wave of hope and disappointment. Meaningless sexual escapades, drunken nights, and drug-induced blackouts help her deal with heartbreak, but her pain goes much deeper than her failed relationship. Along with a broken heart, Melissa has to cope with the memories of her younger brother’s death; the non-existent parenting of her insecure, flighty mother; being juggled between social workers and psychologists; and getting kicked out of school and sent to a special program for at-risk youth. So when the cracks in her life threaten to tear her apart, Melissa has to decide whether to keep fighting—or to let go.

My rating: 4.5 / 5

My Thoughts:

****disclaimer : Something Wicked takes a realistic look at a troubled teen and discusses sex, drugs, alcohol and depression ****

I wanted to read Something Wicked for two reasons: 1) the main character and I share the same name and 2) I could relate to the story, not me exactly, but growing up there were people in my life who were on the wrong track and I wanted so badly to help them. In Melissa, Lesley shows us that behind a troubled teen there lies a desperate cry for help, for hope. When Melissa was 9, her younger brother passed away, she lives with her mother who is very lax with rules and not the best role model...it's like the cards were stacked against her. Something Wicked is a rare opportunity to see inside the mind of someone struggling. Although dark, it is realistic and a real eye opener!

If you have ever tried to help someone fighting their own demons, you will know that trying to use reason/logic seems to go nowhere, that it's like they need to hit rock bottom before they are willing to accept defeat; Melissa is no different. She is such a believable character, and given all her struggles, one can't help but feel angry at her for her choices and horrible for her when things so wrong.

When reading, I wondered if passing this book along to someone struggling would help, knowing they aren't alone while at the same time showing then an outside look, how bad decisions affect you and how you have the power to take control of your life! The brilliance of this novel lies in it's simple message about growing up that I think ANY teen can relate too.

Stop by the blog tomorrow to read an interview with Lesley!


  1. I love books that have a deep meaning. I'll check this one out for me and my daughter to read.

  2. LM ~ I can't remember how old your daughter is, but the suggested age is 14+ and I would have to agree with that due to the harsh, somewhat depressing reality of it all.

  3. wow what an awesome review. definitely something to consider!

    and i looove the cover!!

  4. Great review. It sounds like a very poignant story and one most adults can relate to, just wondering if teens could.

  5. Tahereh ~ seriously such a fitting cover! I love it too :)

    Jan ~ Exactly what I thought when reading it and I think so. Seeing her plight, a teen herself, I think is a powerful tool and hopefully that message can break down barriers!