Heartache and Other Natural Shocks
A page-turning young-adult novel told from the alternating voices of two witty, sharp-edged teenage girls who compete for a role in the school production of Hamlet and for the same local bad boy, in a game of deception, betrayal, and swordplay.
When fifteen-year-old Julia Epstein and her Anglophone family flee Montreal in October 1970, she struggles to adjust to a new life in the suburban wasteland of North York, Toronto. Next door lives Carla Cabrielli, who works her "assets" and knows how to get what she wants. Julia and Carla get on a collision course, not only for the same role in the school production of Hamlet, but also for the leading man—sword-wielding bad boy and sex magnet, Ian Slater.
Heartache and Other Natural Shocks explores teen rivalry. When events take a dangerous turn, both Julia and Carla become vulnerable to deception and betrayal. Full of unexpected twists and turns, Glenda Leznoff's unique novel marks the debut of an important new voice in young-adult fiction.