Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Me On the Floor, Bleeding by Jenny Jagerfeld
We took a taxi home. Just like that. "We took a taxi." That was something I could tell someone I wanted to impress. Except I couldn't think who that might be. Enzo saw right through me; he would immediately notice the poorly disguised satisfaction behind the mock indifferent expression.
Me On the Floor, Bleeding by Jenny Jagerfeld is a Swedish Young Adult book (thus, a translation) about a high school girl named Maja. As the book opens, she has just accidentally cut off the tip of her thumb with a saw. She would never deliberately hurt herself, yet most of the kids at school assume that's what she has done and even her father is uncertain. But, her mother doesn't even bother to respond to texts or emails about Maja's accident.
When Maja takes the train to visit her mother over the weekend and she also doesn't show up at the train station, Maja begins to worry. But, something keeps her from calling her father or the authorities about her mother's disappearance. And, then Maja meets her mother's next-door neighbor, a 22-year-old, and things become more complex.
What has become of Maja's mother? Maja sets out to unravel the mystery of her mother's whereabouts by hacking into her parents' email accounts and her father's phone messages. But, what she finds out may hurt even more than cutting off a thumb.
Me On the Floor Bleeding was an award-winning book in Sweden and I can see why. Maja is a great character and it's a very internal book that feels true to the emotion, intelligence and quirkiness of a teen. Upon reflection it reminds me a bit of John Green. It's witty and poetic, very human and fearlessly open about emotion and sexuality.
The only problem I had with the book was the fact that I had a little difficulty understanding why what Maja found out about her mother was so traumatic. If anything, it seemed like what she discovered should have been reassuring because it explained why her parents -- especially her mother -- behaved the way they did.
The bottom line:
Highly recommended - I really enjoyed Me On the Floor, Bleeding and would particularly recommend it to people who like reading an emotional story that feels authentic to the teen experience. The author is a psychologist, so she undoubtedly understands how and why Maja's discovery about her mother upsets her so deeply.
Hmm, love the cover because it's such a grabber but it is not accurate to the contents. Maja is not suicidal. The fingers to the forehead are misleading in that way. She does have an unusual way of dressing and the outfit on the cover is similar to something she wears, but not precisely accurate to the description. And, she doesn't have pink hair. Her hair is dark and she actually cuts it so close to her head that she's almost bald by the end of the book, perhaps as a sign of emotional stress.
I got Me On the Floor, Bleeding from a friend. I'm not sure if it was sent to her by the publisher or a purchase on her part but, just for reference, the publisher is Stockholm Text.
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