‘Igloo High’ by Jacinthe Dessureault has many of the typical aspects that young adult novels contain, including a popular girl, a mean girl, and the requisite crush. The novel, however, does not stick to the same tried and true form that other novels do, as main character Ella finds herself a fish out of water, moving from her hometown of Montreal to a much more northern area of Canada where the cold is not just the weather topic for the day, but rather the norm she must learn to live with as she acclimates to her new home.
Leaving her best friend behind, along with her crush whom she just found a way to connect with, she treats the move, due to her dad’s job, as the biggest hindrance ever. Her entitled attitude comes off a bit extreme, so it helps that she finds a way to make more of the situation as the novel goes on. This doesn’t mean things are easy. Despite the fact that she is quickly befriended by the resident popular, and equally mean, girl, Sera, one big misunderstanding gets in the way of their budding friendship. This causes Ella to soon find herself in a place she doesn’t want to be surrounded by people who want nothing to do with her, because Sera has the power to keep Ella from making new friends. Yet, she does find friendship in places she doesn’t expect, and the fact that there’s a guy in the mix doesn’t hurt matters any, especially if her seeing this guy is the perfect thing to make Sera super jealous.
Ella’s transformation throughout the novel from someone who can only think pessimistically about her situation into someone who learns the difference between tolerance (dealing with people until she can find a way to leave) and acceptance (understanding that her situation may not be as bad as she thinks and she might actually like it there) is pretty well done. Any high school student, and even adults, can learn a lesson from Ella, as negativity and worry don’t help anything. Rather, focusing on the positive and all of the good that can come out of life will make anyone’s day better.
You can find ‘Igloo High’ by Jacinthe Dessureault here.
*Review originally posted at YABooksCentral.com*