Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Just as the title LOVE YOU HATE YOU MISS YOU suggests, Amy is experiencing a wide range of emotions as she adjusts to the fact that her best friend Julia is gone. Guilt is the overwhelming emotion that plagues her as she is released from Pinewood treatment center and returns to life at home and at school.

Amy spends most of her time reliving the past. She's filling a notebook with letters to Julia "J" and trying to move on. It seems nearly impossible since the two girls spent every moment together partying and avoiding their families whose behavior and expectations were so annoying. Amy misses the alcohol as well that helped her forget her gangly height and odd red hair. Now there is no one to insulate her from herself and the reality of the world.

Even though she is spending more time with her parents, she hears them asking her questions and saying they care, but underneath this concern she still sees how wrapped up they are in each other, underlining the fact that she has always felt like an extra person rather than a part of their lives. Her therapist, Laurie, wants her to talk about Julia and the choices that were made, all the while nodding and clicking her pen until Amy wants to scream.

Life at school is barely tolerable. Tests she took at Pinewood revealed she is more than capable of handling honors classes, but that class schedule puts her right in the middle of kids who never understood her or Julia. Is it possible to make new friends? Her parents are encouraging it, but who will be able to understand how she felt about Julia and how she feels like a murderer because of her behavior on that terrible night.

LOVE YOU HATE YOU MISS YOU is filled with raw emotion and complicated relationships. Author Elizabeth Scott does an excellent job of portraying the mixed emotions flooding through Amy as she attempts to put the pieces of her life back together. Most would think of family support as the answer in this stressful situation, but Scott doesn't make that an easy solution to Amy's problems. Instead, readers see inside a family with love enough to go around, but it is misdirected and misunderstood. The hope of recovery is present in Amy's story, but readers learn that the path there will not be easy.

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