Sunday, February 8, 2015

An Incredible Young Adult Novel

I almost didn't read this book. That would have been tragic because it turns out it's an incredible story. Before I started to read Wildlife, I sent out a silent wish to the universe, saying “Give me something I can't put down, something that sucks me in and doesn't let me go.” Then I picked up this book because I had it from the library and hadn't started it and had no expectations.
Usually, a book gets 50 pages to grip me hard enough and for me to make a decision about whether I'll finish it. This time, I made it 5 pages in and thought, “I'm not going to read this...” Then I got to page 7. This story is told from multiple perspectives (add one point!) and handles each of them so very well (add another point!). I really thought this would turn out to be “just another teen book” even though I'd read it on a Book Riot list of top feminist teen novels. It was so much more than what I expected.
I haven't read “Six Impossible Things” since it hasn't been released in the US yet, but I don't feel like I missed anything by not reading it before this one.

So here's what I loved:
This is not a love story. There is a romance, like in almost every YA book, but this story is not focused on that. This is a book about teenage girls' relationships with each other, both the good and the bad.

This was an incredibly believable book. I love some good paranormal YA every now and again, but when I read a realistic book, I want it to be that: realistic.

There was no teenage anst. Teenage drama, yes. But not crying in my room over a boy I talked to that one time and why doesn't he love me kind of junk.

There are strong feminist characters. And there are hidden, subtle lessons about how to become a strong feminist female in your own life.

The ending. It was perfect.

What I didn't love:

… I honestly can't think of anything. And I always try really hard to give both the pros and the cons of books so that people can weigh them to make an informed decision. I would recommend this one to anyone, though. Anyone who loves teen literature, or even coming of age stories that are perhaps not necessarily directed toward teens. Because that's what this book is, it's learning who your friends are, but more importantly, it's struggling with who you are and who you want to become. And it's beautiful.

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