“I swear to be the skinniest girl in school.” There is no way to discuss Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls without using words like haunting. Disturbing. Painful. There is no beating around the bush: this novel made me uncomfortable. Lia, Halse’s protagonist, is suffering from an eating disorder, which begins to spiral completely out of control (again) after her best friend dies. ...
I’m struggling to find the words to begin this post. I’m not quite sure how to talk about Me Since You without giving away too much, and yet, it’s such a powerful book, it deserves quite a lot of discussion. Maybe I’ll start with the publisher’s synopsis: Before and After. That’s how Rowan Areno sees her life now. Before: she ...
I figured it out: I’m pretty sure I dated Jonah Prentiss. Finishing Bright Before Sunrise was a slightly uncomfortable experience for me, and I couldn’t quite figure out why. I blew through the book in just a little over 24 hours, and I liked the story quite a lot. I was completely swept up in Tiffany Schmidt’s ability to write real ...
The three things I love to read most? YA lit, historical fiction, and Asian-American lit. So when a book like Pioneer Girl comes along that combines an obsession with Little House on the Prairie and a narrator whose parents emigrated from Vietnam, I’m all in. The basic premise is this: Lee Lien’s grandfather owned a small cafe in Vietnam in ...
I loved Roomies. Remember when you were a high-school grad, getting everything ready to go off to college, and you got that letter? The one that told you who your roommate would be? There was so much anticipation wrapped up in that letter, for me. What would she be like? Would she be fun? Would she be weird? Would ...
After slogging through my last read, I was really looking forward to this sweet little Sarah Dessen that was waiting patiently on my nightstand. Dessen is just the kind of author you like to come home to to after a long day: warm, complex characters, a family-oriented plotline, and delightfully, undistractingly, beautifully thoughtful writing. In short: this was just ...
I picked Vibes up just to see what Ryan could do with something that wasn’t set in space (am I the only one who hears “set. in. space.” in Julia Roberts’ voice, ala Notting Hill?). It’s a very different sort of novel, and a completely different type of heroine–she’s brash and abrasive and would almost be off-putting, if she ...
I read Lock and Key on the recommendation of a friend. This one is hard. Dessen’s writing never disappoints, but I found Lock and Key a little more tough to read, simply because the subject matter was so difficult: abandonment, homelessness, strained family ties, alcoholism and drug use. And yet, amongst all the upsetting, traumatic things going on in this book, Dessen manages to ...
Reading Along for the Ride finally helped me to realize that Dessen's books have a strong mother/daughter conflict theme. It seems appropriate, considering that it's such a universal experience for teenaged girls. I appreciate a) that Dessen doesn't recycle the same characters and crisis each time--in each book, the characters and issues are fresh and interesting, even when read ...
Two main thoughts I'm taking away from Just One Day: 1)This is the kind of plot I would have loved as a teen, but as a mother, the thought of my daughter reading it makes me cringe. That said, I did enjoy it. 2) I really liked these characters, and found their story believable (if frustrating, but that's the point). But ...