The Implosion of Aggie Winchester by Lara Zielin
Release Date: August 4th 2011
Review: To tell you the truth, I wasn't expecting much from such an amateur-ish cover but Lara Zielin manages to weave a story of just the right amount of drama that drops some very cliche topics amongst a few very quirky and fun personality traits.
I have to give props to whoever thought up the title as it does an almost perfect job of describing what I read in only a few short days. The minute we meet AGGIE her seemingly normal life starts to fall down around her. From her mother being diagnosed with cancer and struggling to decide whether she should continue working as a school principal to Aggie's best friend, Sylvia falling pregnant and ditching her entirely because she is blatantly honest about Sylvia's selfish boyfriend who refuses to acknowledge her in public.
Amidst these life-altering moments, you'd expect any normal teen to struggle immensely but Aggie manages to deal with them and a whole lot more while holding her head up high. You can actually see Aggie grow and find herself throughout the novel. She is helped along by one of the quirkiest hobbies I've ever heard of especially in YA, Bass Fishing of all things, which she enjoys with her father and rivals the best when she thinks about turning pro. She also picks up a new sidekick who she'd originally written off as a freak because of a hook for a hand but eventually finds herself really enjoying their time together.
I'm now going to dedicate an entire paragraph to any sort of boy drama in my reviews as there is always plenty to discuss in this genre and Aggie Winchester is no different. Her ex-boyfriend Neil, tries to work his way back into her good books after dumping her only a few short months ago. She struggles to deny the boy who made her feel more comfortable with herself than she has ever been before but thankfully, she starts to see Fitz, a boy from her local fishing club as a possible love interest and turns her back on Neil altogether.
The bulk load of the second half of the novel seems to purely focus on St Davis' Junior Prom and usually I'd be complaining but this time around we aren't bored with the usual prom dramas such as trying to find the right dress or hooking up at the unofficial after party. Instead, we are met with the total downfall of the student body and it's faculty when a pregnant goth girl is nominated for prom queen. Only Aggie knows her ex-best friend rigged the votes with help from the janitor's daughter, Beth and Aggie struggles on whether to share these details with the school board for fear of being labeled the nerdy principal's kid or to stick with her rebellious goth image.
Sure, The Implosion of Aggie Winchester might be full of cliches like Teen Pregnancy, Cancer, Prom & Goths but somehow Lara Zielin manages to construct a world completely honest and enjoyable to read. If you're looking to hide away from your social responsibilities for a couple hours, I recommend picking up Lara Zielin's sophomore for a great distraction.