Title: Confessions of a Teenage Leper
Author: Ashley Little
Rating: 3 out of 5
Abby Furlowe is determined that this will be her year. She’ll make the cheerleading team again—she’d better, all her plans for a future as an actor hinge on a prestigious cheerleading scholarship—enjoy parties with her two besties and continue to rule the school as one of the most beautiful and popular girls. Maybe even be named prom queen!
She doesn’t have time for her brother Dean and his secret life and drama. She doesn’t have time for her boyfriend’s sudden distance or the losers at school. And she certainly doesn’t have time for the weird numbness and spots that keep showing up on her skin. Until the numbness gets worse and she takes a fall while cheering, waking up to find her whole life has changed.
That weird numbness means she has Hansen’s Disease, or leprosy, and the diagnosis is now all Abby has time for. She’ll have to go away to a treatment center if she’s to get better—or have any hope of reclaiming her old life. But time away from everything gives Abby plenty of time to think, and she comes to realize what a horrible person she is. But who she was isn’t the person she has to be now, and some of the new people she meets at the treatment center help her come to terms with her new reality.
Based on the title, I sort of thought this book would be a funny read about a girl who ends up a social outcast, not a person who actually had the disease. It wasn’t. At all. For most of the book, Abby is a horrible person. Totally unlikable. Her mean-girl persona really made me want to put the book down, but she had a few bright spots, like saving her brother’s life, so I kept reading. Abby learns a lot, about the power of words, about family, about being a better person.
Ashley Little is an award-winning author. Confessions of a Teenage Leper is her newest novel.
(Galley provided by Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review.)
6 thoughts on “Book Review: Confessions of a Teenage Leper, by Ashley Little”
so it takes an illness for her to realize she’s a terrible person?
Pretty much. She’s a very vain person, so the disease completely destroys how she’s always thought of herself. I found her pretty unlikable.
Huh, this sounds like a really fascinating book! I had no idea that leprosy was still a disease people contracted, and this story sounds really compelling. I noticed you gave it a three out of five–overall, would you say that the book’s worth reading despite how unlikable she is at the beginning?
It’s worth reading, just don’t expect her to be likable. She does change a lot over the course of the book.
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