Summary and book reviews of Feeling Sorry For Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty

Feeling Sorry For Celia

By Jaclyn Moriarty

Feeling Sorry For Celia
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  • Hardcover: Feb 2001,
    272 pages.
    Paperback: Jan 2002,
    288 pages.

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About this Book

Book Summary

Life is pretty complicated for Elizabeth Clarry. Her best friend Celia keeps disappearing, her absent father suddenly reappears, and her communication with her mother consists entirely of wacky notes left on the fridge. On top of everything else, because her English teacher wants to rekindle the "Joy of the Envelope," a Complete and Utter Stranger knows more about Elizabeth than anyone else.

But Elizabeth is on the verge of some major changes. She may lose her best friend, find a wonderful new friend, kiss the sexiest guy alive, and run in a marathon. So much can happen in the time it takes to write a letter…

A #1 bestseller in Australia, this fabulous debut is a funny, touching, revealing story written entirely in the form of letters, messages, postcards - and bizarre missives from imaginary organizations like The Cold Hard Truth Association.

Feeling Sorry for Celia captures, with rare acuity, female friendship and the bonding and parting that occurs as we grow. Jaclyn Moriarty's hilariously candid novel shows that the roller coaster ride of being a teenager is every bit as fun as we remember -- and every bit as harrowing.

Excerpt from Part One



Dear Ms. Clarry,

It has come to our attention that you are incredibly bad at being a teenager.

I mean, take a look at your bedroom.

You haven't got any posters on your wall. (Don't try to tell us that that picture counts. A kitten drowning in a strawberry milkshake? Designed by your mother as an ad for carpet cleaner? Give us a break.)

You have a paper chain made of old Christmas cards hanging from your curtain rod. The only makeup you have is banana flavored lip gloss and it's melting all over your Little Mermaid quilt cover. (Actually, we don't think that lip gloss counts as makeup at all.)

Not to hurt your feelings or anything, but you are an embarrassment to teenagerhood. Therefore, could you please climb into the refrigerator and wait very quietly until your teenage years end?

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
The Association of Teenagers


P.S. Also, you don't seem to understand how to get a snow tan. You ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. Who grows and changes more over the course of the novel, Celia or Elizabeth? How and why?

  2. How does the structure of Feeling Sorry for Celia with letters, postcards, and messages from societies such as "The Cold Hard Truth Association" affect the reading experience? How does this structure reflect the experience of being a teenager?

  3. What is the significance of Elizabeth's letters from "The Association of Teenagers" throughout the story?

  4. Compare the development of Elizabeth's friendship with Celia to that of her friendship with Christina. Do you think that Elizabeth would have become friends with Christina if they had met in person?

  5. Some readers feel sorry for Elizabeth. Does she feel ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews
Publishers Weekly

Coyly channeling teen quirkiness and enthusiasm, Moriarty captures the essence of a girl's adolescent years in her epistolary first novel.

Kirkus Reviews

When a teenager acquires a pen-pal and a life, highs and lows alternate as dizzily as adolescent hormone levels in this engaging Australian debut.

Author Blurb Melina Marchetta, author of Looking for Alibrani
Elizabeth Clarry is exactly the sort of person I'd love for a best friend.

Author Blurb Tara Hoopes, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX
I think you were lucky to get your hands on such a fabulously thrilling book by such an obviously supremely talented author! I was unable to put the book back on the shelf after part 3 and read almost as fast as Elizabeth runs. I intend to write a letter to my best friend right now. A delightfully enthralling tale! I only hope we have the honor of hosting Jaclyn at Blue Willow someday! I promise to make her a slice of coconut pie as soon as I find a recipe! For anyone who has ever had or been a best friend.

Author Blurb Lori Gottlieb, author of Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
In Elizabeth Clarry, Jaclyn Moriarty has created more than a delightfully irreverent and engaging Everygirl. She brilliantly captures the poignancy and vulnerability of adolescence with a razor-sharp wit and authenticity, and provides a refreshing take on the nature of friendship and family along the way.

Author Blurb Marian Keyes, author of Watermelon and Rachel's Holiday
I absolutely loved Feeling Sorry for Celia and wished I had written it myself. It's so funny and so gripping - it describes perfectly the confusion and bittersweet hope of being a teenager. Written with exquisite deftness, immense warmth and humanity, it is the best 'feel-good' book I've read in a long time.

Author Blurb Michelle Ison, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington, KY
I loved this book! I think it would be a great [book]... for teens and maybe their mothers as well. The format is fun since you feel like you're going through a box of notes instead of reading a book. Excellent YA read!

Reader Reviews
Sarah

Great book
I'm 14 and this book was really good. I liked the fact that Elizabeth even though her friend didn't appreciate what she did she went to go rescue her and that is what true friendship is. So I really liked this book a lot and I recommend it to ...   Read More

nena

Best book ever
I am 17yrs old and I really love this book. I like the way is written, as if it was for real. Elizabeth is kind of like me because I am always worried about my best friend. I recommend this book.

K.J.F.R

about Jaclyn Moriarty's books
To anyone who has read (and loved) 'Feeling Sorry For Celia' know this: Jaclyn Moriarty has written other books! It's a little difficult to find them because they have different names in America than in UK, but they are there! (I noticed that a lot ...   Read More

a Jaclyn Moriarty fan!

A great book!
I'm only 11, but I LOVED this book! It's so unique and cool how it's written in letters! I really enjoyed reading this different style sort of book and I've recommended it to all of my friends! Celia and Elizabeth are so REAL! I expect to be able ...   Read More

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