8th Annual End of Year Bookish Survey

I’m linking up with Jamie’s annual end of year bookish survey again this year.

I spent 11 months of this year without internet, so I’ve hardly reviewed any books, and posted about books rarely too. I also haven’t read much this year. It’s been a tough one. Jamie has a lot of questions, and I don’t have answers to them all, so I’ve actually left some of them out.

2017-book-survey Continue reading “8th Annual End of Year Bookish Survey”

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Unrealistic YA Fiction Is Not Such A Big Problem

Young Adult fiction treads a fine line. On the one hand, it needs to be in touch with its audience. YA readers want to see protagonists who speak realistically, eat realistically, and act realistically.

On the other hand, reading offers us the opportunity to live different lives; to travel to places and settings and adventures that we may never have, and very few people want to read about a normal, boring setting. (Although I am told that Patrick Ness’ The Rest of Us Just Live Here addresses this very well, I’ve not yet read it.)

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Not the topic for this discussion, but I do want to read this book.

Continue reading “Unrealistic YA Fiction Is Not Such A Big Problem”

Fifteen Lanes by S.J. Laidlaw [Book Review]

25893705Writing an “issue book” for young adults can be dangerous. Writing an issue book that incorporates diversity and a non-Western setting can be disastrous. It can be shallow. It can be whitewashed. It can be a pity-party. It can be subtly racist. Issue books are hard to write because we all have unwitting biases, and they can reveal themselves in our writing, despite our very best intentions.

Fifteen Lanes by S.J. Laidlaw is nothing like that.

Besides being teenage girls in Mumbai, Noor and Grace seemingly have nothing in common. Noor (which by the way is one of my favorite names!) is the eldest child of a prostitute. She was raised in the red-light district of Kamathipura. Education is her refuge, but she lives in constant fear of following the fate of her mother. Continue reading “Fifteen Lanes by S.J. Laidlaw [Book Review]”

Book Review: NEED by Joelle Charbonneau

20550148As someone who was a teenager in high school when Facebook and Twitter (and even MySpace) started out, I feel like a bit of a pioneer in terms of social media. My generation was the one that had to figure out how drastically the battlefields of high school are altered when social media enters the picture.

NEED appealed to me because of that, and because it had all the ingredients for a good YA thriller: cyber anonymity, an unknown antagonist, and of course: a small-town high school.

And I was not disappointed.

I DEVOURED this book – something that doesn’t often happen because work and yada-yada-yada, but I could NOT put it down. I fell asleep with it last night and then finished the last 10% during my lunch break today. That’s how into it I was. Continue reading “Book Review: NEED by Joelle Charbonneau”

Book Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

 About a year ago, I read about Ruby Bridges, the first African-American child to attend an all-white elementary school in the Southern United States. There is a movie about her, which I couldn’t source, but I remember thinking what a fantastic story it would be to read.

Recently, I had the opportunity to read just such a story, except this one is set in a high school, and is fictional (but historically accurate).

Lies We Tell Ourselves is the story of ten black students who are the first to attend a top-notch all-white school in Virginia. It starts on their first day at the new school, being taunted and spat at and not at all very well-protected by their police escort. Continue reading “Book Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley”