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THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO LIVING by Lia Hills Kirkus Star

THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO LIVING

By Lia Hills (Author) , Lia Hills (Photographer)

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 12th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-374-30659-5
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Seventeen-year-old Will is desperate to find meaning in life following the sudden death of his mother. Overwhelmed by the parade of sympathy casseroles, his cynical older brother and a father who is attempting to bury his sorrow in work, Will embarks on a quest to find the answers he needs. His search leads him to the works of famous philosophers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Plato. He tries using drugs and tagging the tunnel walls of the train system. He develops the roll of film he finds in his mother's camera and takes some of his own, which punctuate the text of this Australian import. But it is his new relationship with Taryn, a beautiful and sympathetic friend, that holds the most promise for him. Hills’s rich imagery and masterful storytelling come together to create a tale that is both poetic and compelling. Complex and authentic characters drive the narrative forward and keep it from becoming overly sentimental or familiar. Readers will sympathize with Will’s heartbreak, revel in his first love and recoil from his anger. A well-crafted story from a new voice. (Fiction. 14 & up)