THIS IS ALL by Aidan Chambers
Kirkus Star

THIS IS ALL

The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

With profound respect for readers, Chambers again stretches the YA genre to its edges and beyond. As a future gift to her almost-born daughter, Cordelia records the stormy, passionate story of her life from age 15 to 20 in the form of Japanese “pillow books.” She’s a great fan of Shakespeare and Dickinson; her own voice is philosophical and meaty, cerebral and emotional. She intellectually chooses schoolmate Will as partner for her “first sex” but falls head-over-heels in love with him, and here lies the story’s heart. Chambers makes Cordelia utterly frank about sexual and biological details. Other arcs include Cordelia’s enigmatic bond with a teacher (never fully graspable), her musings about the roles of poetry and piano in her life, and Will’s passion for trees. Some reflections are written directly after an event, others with years of perspective; it is these years, not always identifiable, that render the piece a YA/adult crossover. Characters are intricate and sometimes infuriating, moments of horror stunning and unforeshadowed. Ambitious, imperfect, challenging and powerfully affecting. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-8109-7060-0
Page count: 816pp
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2006




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