I am Cecilia by author Zara Miller is a debut coming-of-age novel that tells the complicated, often hilarious, story of a teenage girl who craves something more from life than what she was born into. Readers are sure to resonate with the young, highly intelligent protagonist and feel compelled to cheer her on during every step of her journey.
As Miller’s very first book, I am Cecilia was inspired heavily by Miller’s own experiences growing up. Like Cecilia, Miller is deeply connected to her family (both blood-related relatives and people she loves like family), and her primary goal as a writer is to encourage readers to believe in themselves.
Despite living in a small Eastern European village, Cecilia’s life is anything but simple. Her mother recently fell back in love with Cecilia’s biological father, who had abandoned the family years ago. Cecilia struggles to contain her justified anger at her parents while quickly figuring out that her biological father is definitely associating with criminals in some capacity.
When she isn’t at home, the intellectual teen is constantly solving problems for her tight-knit circle of friends, who always seem to be getting into new crises. Then, Cecilia’s romantic interest (although she tries to convince herself she doesn’t love him) is talking about potentially leaving the country for good to play hockey halfway around the world.
In short, Cecilia is suffocating beneath the problems of others, and she desperately wants to aspire to something greater.
Throughout the touching, exciting, and humorous novel, Cecilia connects with others who can relate to her situation and inspire her to follow her ambitions. Readers will love following her on her adventure towards a new life, and they may even be inspired to start planning for their own futures as well.