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BELZHAR
by Meg Wolitzer | Read by Jorjeana Marie

Wolitzer’s debut young adult novel opens with Jam Gallahue, who is suffering from the recent death of her boyfriend, Reeve, settling in at the Wooden Barn, a school for teens with traumatic pasts. With the help of mysterious journals, Jam and the four other students in her Special Topics in English course begin to process and heal from their traumas. As narrator, Jorjeana Marie renders Jam’s haunting vulnerability, and as her past slowly unfolds, listeners will feel themselves in the role of confidant. Marie uses pitch and pacing to her advantage—both to differentiate characters and to suggest concealed facts and feelings. She can infuse a few words with a character’s unique suffering or hope, making her overall narration a touching and intimate experience. E.M.C. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine