Author: Lara Zielin
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publish Date: August 4, 2011
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Sixteen-year-old Aggie Winchester couldn't care less about who's elected prom queen - even if it's her pregnant Goth-girl best friend, Sylvia Ness. Aggie's got bigger things to worry about, like whether or not her ex-boyfriend wants to get back together and whether her mom will survive cancer.But like it or not, Aggie soon finds herself in the middle of an unfolding prom scandal, largely because her mom, who is the school's principal, is rumored to have burned prom ballots so Sylvia won't be elected queen. Aggie's own investigation makes her wonder if the election could be dirty on both sides.
Aggie's life is a bit of a whirlwind, and prom is the last thing on her mind. Like it or not though, when scandal rocks the school and her mother is at the heart of it, Aggie can't help but recognize prom is at the forefront of everything. Aggie has to take it all in stride. From her mother's breast cancer, to the snubs from her pregnant best friend, to her ex-boyfriend and her potential new romantic interest, everything is a bit too much. To come to terms and put things right, Aggie knows she must control the tiny piece of her life that she can. She has to figure out who burned the ballots, prove it wasn't her mother and help Sylvia win. Things be a bit more complicated than she'd hoped though.
I'd never heard of this one before it arrived on my doorstep, and I'll admit - I figured it would be an extremely light read that just might distract me from the dark books for which I hold a serious candle. The Implosion of Aggie Winchester turned out to be different than I'd thought though. Quirky, ironic and a touch dramatic at times, it's a sweet and oddly sensible tale that lets its small differences shine through and make it stand out from the crowd. Author, Lara Zielin, took a time-tested concept and added subtle twists and turns, gave us a lovable heroine and showed us that there can be good in these sweet, simple tales. Sweet and churning, this contemporary tale provides us with a wonderful host of characters and a plot that might seem trite at first glance, but could very well end up surprising you, too.
To be completely honest, I thought I was going to hate this book. For one, it's riddled with cliches (think cancer, goths & geeks, teen pregnancy and prom). For another, it seems as if the entire storyline revolves around a so-called mystery involving prom ballots. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find that The Implosion of Aggie Winchester lent a sort of sincerity and truth to an otherwise tepid story. Aggie began as a first flat character. Her life revolved around a series of events - a breakup, an ex-best friend, the drama of her mother's illness and her friend's pregnancy. However, as we move through the story, we watch as she evolves from the one-sided character that cared about little but the superficial into someone we can genuinely relate to. There is a soft undertone of humour and wit that weaves its way through the otherwise very typical storyline, and it freshens the plot, ups the pace and really pushed The Implosion of Aggie Winchester to the next level. The bottom line is simple, friends. Simple and honest, this novel pushes past its foundation of cliches into a genuine, honest read that any teen or young woman can find sincere.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by The Implosion of Aggie Winchester. Was it the deepest novel I've ever read? Heck no. Was it fun, genuine and honest though? Yes, it most certainly was. I give it a 4 out of 5, and I recommend it to all fans of YA fiction, especially those who enjoy contemporary.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.