The Freak Observer is rich in family drama, theoretical physics, and an unusual, tough young woman—Loa Lindgren. For eight years, Loa Sollilja's world ran like one of those mechanical models of the solar system, with her baby sister, Asta, as the sun. Asta suffered from a genetic disorder that left her a permanent infant, and caring for her was Loa's life. Everything spun neatly and regularly as the whole family orbited around Asta. But now Asta's dead, and 16-year-old Loa's clockwork galaxy has collapsed. As Loa spins off on her own, her mind ambushes her with vivid nightmares and sadistic flashbacks―a textbook case of PTSD. But there are no textbook fixes for Loa's short-circuiting brain. She must find her own way to pry her world from the clutches of death. The Freak Observer is a startling debut about death, life, astrophysics, and finding beauty in chaos.
|Publisher:||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||2 MB|
|Age Range:||13 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Blythe Woolston is a reader. Right now, she makes her living indexing scholarly books. She has also worked as a writing teacher, library clerk, and production coordinator for a computer book publisher. Writing books is a new way for her to love reading.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
All Loa got for her troubles was a smack upside the head with a toilet plunger. No "I'm soooo glad you are safe." No "I love you," just a dirty old plunger. "Same-ol, same-ol" in the Lindgren family. Her friend, Esther, had been splattered across the road by a truck. She could picture her running down the embankment and then . . . the driver was out in the road yelling and puking. The trooper had tried to console her in his own funny way by saying that some people ran toward an accident while others ran away. So what kind of person just froze in place and time? Her only consolation prize was that plunger and her father saying, "You could'a been the dead one." It wouldn't be very long before Loa probably wished she was. Mrs. Bishop, the guidance counselor at school, wasn't much help and everyone else thought of her as "that dead girl's friend" and that simply wasn't cool. Loa had a "glitch in [her] brain" and in her dreams she saw Esther's heart in the laundry basket. She didn't want to sleep because she'd see that heart. Cleaning all night solved that, but she couldn't stay awake forever. They used to call it "shellshock," but now it's called PTSD. They gave Loa six weeks of "grief counseling" because of her screaming at night and nightmares that brought everything back. At the end of her counseling she was supposed to be all cured, but she knew that Esther couldn't "be alive and dead at the same time like Schrödinger's imaginary cat." Esther was dead and that was that. It used to be that everyone had their own little orbit around her younger sister, Asta. Now "there were pages missing from Asta's book" and everyone had to tend to her because she never walked, talked, and had to wear diapers. Even Little Harold's life evolved around her until "The Bony Guy" came to get her. Loa knew she had problems and knew that "At least 25 percent of trauma victims have repetitive dreams of the event with feelings of intense rage, fear, or grief," but when the heck was she going to recover from this funk? Was anyone ever going to look at her instead of seeing a dead girl in her eyes? Was the best she was going to get was a toilet plunger up the side of her head? This is an amazingly funny, yet tragic story about Loa Lindgren, a girl who is suffering from PTSD. Loa is so into her own mind that her intellect isn't quite holding hands with reality. The story emanates from the inner reaches of her mind. We not only learn about her fears, but also in this tragicomedy we are treated to Loa's remarkable sense of humor. For example, when someone tells her to take care she claims she won't be responsible for her actions if she hears it again because she knows how to take care. "I can wash dishes, pull out slivers, sharpen a chainsaw, thaw out frozen pipes, pack a lunch, mop floors, serve five hot plates to a table, get poop out of a little boy's underwear, and sterilize a nasogastric tube." I haven't read such a good YA novel in some time and had a hard time putting it down. If you want to read a stunning, well written tragicomedy, this is definitely the book to pick up! Quill says: This debut novel by Blythe Woolston will simply wow the reader with the ingenious look at the mind of a teenage girl in the throes of PTSD!
Blythe Woolston's first novel is cleverly written and captivating. The narrative character of Loa, is a complex, candid and often humorous one. Although Loa is a strong and extraordinary young woman with troubling nightmares, uncommon responsibilities and a shocking childhood past, she is still a girl easy to relate to and easy to love. Poignant and touching, this story has a natural and easy flow that sucks in the reader, making them desperate to know how it all turns out for poor Loa Lindrgren.