April 01, 2008
"Anna Begins" is a pair of Young Adult novellas, each about a girl and a boy around seventeen years old. In the title story, Melissa has an eating disorder, an absent best friend, a disconnected mother, her first sexual experience, and a story to write about all of it. Finding peer support in telling her own story, she decides to try to live the plot she is trying to write. "A Million Miles Up," the second story, is an upside-down tale of teenage love. Scott and Elly try to navigate their junior year in high school. Scott wants to be famous and takes up celebrity-scale drinking. Elly just wants to be happy, but must deal with an abusive father. As both of them fall through the cracks at their school, they approach an ending neither of them can return from: Elly decides to kill her father. The two stories in "Anna Begins" explore the humor, frustration and depth of pain the come with the most awkward years of life: the teens.
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