The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly Completely Lost It, by Lisa Shanahan [Teen Fiction]

Reviewed by Katherine, 8th grader

This novel was a great book all about a teenaged girl named Gemma Stone. Gemma’s sister Debbie once dated a guy named Birkett. Birkett was a poet, and he recited his own poetry. One night Debbie tossed a five-dollar note, and their relationship began. Soon Debbie realized that he was extremely dramatic so she broke up with him. This drove Birkett crazy! So one night, he drove to her house and recited 20 different acrostic poetry renditions, one the word “Debbie.” So, now any time one of the Stones starts to ride the big wave of emotions, the family always says they’re chucking a Birkett.

Gemma thinks that chucking a Birkett is nothing good. It isn’t a normal thing; she thinks that nothing good can possibly come out of it. But, that was before she started to like a boy who didn’t know who she was, until she tries out for the school play, which she has never done before because she gets nervous around large groups of people. Before she meets the terrible family that Debbie is marrying into, the Webster’s war freaks that only acccept strong independent people and won’t tolerate any other kinds of people. Before this strange kid named Raven De Head starts to like her. Then she realizes that chucking a Birkett may be able to come in handy sometimes.