Friday, February 15, 2013

Hating Heidi Foster - Review

Hating Heidi FosterHating Heidi Foster by Jeffrey Blount
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Published October 25th 2012 by Alluvion Press

Mae McBride and Heidi Foster were the very best of friends. Tied at the hip from early elementary school, their relationship was the stuff of storybooks, legendary even, in the minds of their high school classmates.
That is, until Mae's father died while saving Heidi's life. When Mae finds out, she blames Heidi. She blames her father for putting Heidi ahead of her. She blames her friends for taking Heidi’s side. She begins to unravel amid that blame and her uncontrollable and atypical anger.
At the same time Heidi is beset by guilt, falls into depression and stops eating properly; wasting away physically and emotionally while waiting for Mae to let her back into the friendship she misses so dearly.
Mae, consumed by her hatred of Heidi, the confusion regarding her father’s motives, the perceived desertion of her friends and her mother’s grief, loses more and more of herself.
What could possibly bring these two old friends back to each other? A miracle?
Hating Heidi Foster, is a young adult novel about the place of honor true friendships hold in our lives. It is about suffering and loss and the ethics of grief. It is about a deep and painful conflict, the bright light of selflessness and sacrifice and the love that rights the ship and carries us safely to port.

I don't know what it's like losing a parent, but I do know what it's like suddenly hating a childhood friend. Which is probably the only thing I have in common with Mae.

A lot of people might not have like Mae, but for a 14 year old dealing with loss I'm kind of surprised she didn't lose herself more.
She isolated herself from everyone because she felt betrayed by them for, in her eyes, picking Heidi over her. Rather selfish yes, but again 14, like I mentioned above I know what it's like hating a childhood best friend well; and because of that I know isolation well also.
And I personally think Mae separating herself from everyone, while not the best while it was happening, helped her in the end. It's when you don't have anything when you realize how good the things you do (and did) have are.

It's rare for me to find a YA book like this, they usually feel superficial or unrealistic especially the more realistic they try to make them. And this seemed real, for all I know I really could have been reading a teenage girls diary.

I'd kind of like to hear Heidi's side of the story. What's her take on what she went through? Mae isn't the only one who had to go though a hard time, what Heidi went through might have been even worse. Someone died because of her.
But we didn't get her story. This is Mae's story, Mae's heartbreak, and Mae's loss. That's what this story is, the months spent grieving and hating after the loss of not only a parent but a friend. Mae not only lost her father but she lost her best friend and maybe she didn't care but she was still left alone because of her hate and honestly while she might lose sympathy at times her hate is still acceptable.

She's young but really at any age no one would have handled it that well.
It's also about Mae finding forgiveness, not only that but maybe a new inner piece. When we lose we also gain be it hate or inner piece but with both we manage to learn and grow.

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