Relatable teenage novel offers insight to truths of adolescence

Jenny Lambert, Staff Writer

Imagine spending your entire childhood with your best friend, only to learn that one day, you may never see her again. Popularity, jealousy, and family issues are what typically drive friendships apart. “The Burning Girl” by Claire Messud tells the story of a lost childhood friendship that was torn apart from these relatable issues often faced by teenagers.

Julia and Cassie were two inseparable friends. That is, until middle school came along and the girls decided to follow different paths: Julia gravitated towards the studious crowd, while Cassie found herself hanging out with the popular kids. As they got older, Cassie started to drift away from Julia. The rest of the novel is told as Julia tries to save their friendship from vanishing.

Messud describes Julia’s feelings in a one-sided, unraveling friendship in an outstanding way. It is extremely compelling. She did an impeccable job describing life as a teenage girl and had some interesting details throughout the story. Such as the girls’ childhood adventures at the quarry. However, the novel would be even more convincing and realistic if it were told as Julia was looking back at her life as a wise adult, rather than a senior in high school.

If you are in the mood to read an emotional and relatable coming of age story, this novel is for you.