Glenda Leznoff is the new Judy Blume, The Globe and Mail

January 25, 2016

Heartache and Other Natural Shocks

by Glenda Leznoff

Tundra Books, 384 pages, $21.99

Wishing Judy Blume had written a novel set in 1970 during the peak of the FLQ crisis? This is it. In her first teen book, Glenda Leznoff tells the stories of two teen girls leading very different lives, but linked by their neighbourhood geography and insatiable attraction to a bad-boy classmate named Ian (yes, he drives a motorcycle). Julia is quiet, artsy, contemplative and homesick as her family has just moved from Montreal to escape the political unrest. Carla is bold, sexually open, dramatic and wildly jealous of the attention Ian pays to Julia. The Blume comparison is apt because of the deliciously juicy realism; the simultaneous upheaval of both the country and two teen girls’ hormones is addictive and surprising. Leznoff gets teen girls – their conversations, their insecurities and their deep yearning for self-worth.