Doomed by Nancy Beaudet

Emerson Winters’ story is one that addresses exactly what it means to not fit the mold, to be an outcast, to be filled with the teenage angst that comes from not knowing what the rest of life will be like. In Nancy Beaudet’s novel Doomed, Emerson struggles in a world that seems to just not want her, but seems to have been made for people who are the exact opposite of her. While her older sister has long legs that seem to go up to her shoulders and an unquestionably perfect waistline, Emerson suffers with being called fat and her self-confidence and body image are crushed. However, when Emerson is around the gentle twenty-one year old Warren she feels different- loved, protected, and maybe even attractive. As Beaudet touches on many of the subjects that make growing up as someone painfully unique so hard, she also encourages the reader to consider whether or not one person should become the sole focus of another person’s life.

While many young readers will surely feel a strong connection to Emerson’s struggle and position in life, Beaudet’s writing can also verge on overly sappy. An emotional roller coaster ride that takes the reader from anger, to sadness, to love, might leave one feeling a bit whiplashed in only one hundred and twenty-five pages. All things considered though, being a teenager is largely about riding the emotional roller coaster, avoiding parents in the process, and ultimately making it out to laugh at the story later.

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