31 March 2015
Author: Brian Katcher
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Brief Overview: When Logan meets Sage, he thinks he may have found the girl to help him get over his ex. The only problem is that Sage has a secret that nothing could have prepared Logan for.
Themes: Transgender teens, Relationships, friendship, family
Impressions: I was nervous to give my impressions of this book because I am nowhere near an expert on transgender issues but I liked this book. There are parts of it that could be construed as offensive, but I think that the author was just giving a realistic idea of the prejudices and attitudes of certain characters in the book and the obstacles faced by Trans* teens. I enjoyed the writing in this book. Its style reminded me a lot of David Levithan's writing,so fans of his books might like it. The originality of the themes caught my attention and the events that unfolded were quite realistic in my opinion. I think that Almost Perfect was a good representation of high school life, small town life, and the challenges, misconceptions and downright hatred that people face for being different. The characters seemed a bit stereotypical at times and the book continued just a tiny bit past when I thought it should have ended, but those issues were minor. I really enjoyed Almost Perfect, but I was also curious to see what Trans* readers thought of it, so naturally I turned to Tumblr for answers. This reader was not impressed and I do think she brings up a lot of good points, but on the other hand, the author's note at the book's end makes it clear that he had the best intentions for writing Almost Perfect, and relied on stories and input from transgender teens.
If you liked Almost Perfect, you might like:
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Have you read Almost Perfect? Did you enjoy it or find it offensive?
28 March 2015
26 March 2015
Title: To All The Boys I've Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Genre: YA Contemporary
Brief Overview: Lara Jean writes letters to all the boys she's loved and keeps them in a box in her room never to be shown to anyone...until, somehow, all the letters get sent. One boy's letter is returned to sender, one of the boys is gay, one used to be her friend, and one is her sister's (recent) ex-boyfriend. While all this is going on, Lara Jean's older sister leaves for college and Lara Jean ends up in a (fake) relationship with one of the boys from her letters.
Main Character: Lara Jean is a bit innocent for her age and she tries hard to be good. Her family is important to her and in the book she has to grow up a little when her older sister Margot goes to college and she becomes the oldest sister at home. She is fashionable and smart and although she is a bit naive and unsure of herself, you can tell she is tough on the inside.
Impressions: What I liked most about this book is Jenny Han's writing style. She does realism so well. She describes details down to the food they eat so clearly and yet somehow it never feels overly descriptive or wordy. This book is so sweet and captures an awkward time in Lara Jean's teenage life in such an honest way. I liked that while this book was about high school and boys, a huge element of it was about family and what it means to be sisters.
If you liked To All The Boys I've Loved Before, you might like:
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith or The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
24 March 2015
Title: The Geography of You and Me
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Brief Overview: Lucy and Owen meet when they get trapped together in an elevator in their Manhattan apartment building. Soon afterward, Lucy moves to Europe with her family, and Owen and his dad begin a journey west to find a place to live following the death of Owens mom. Lucy and Owen remain in contact through post cards.
Themes: Friendship, Love, Travel
Impressions: This book made me super happy at the beginning. I love New York and I liked the characters. I really liked how they met and the early parts of the book. A quarter of the way through reading it, I was ready to give the book a 5/5 rating. Then, after Lucy moves to Edinburgh, I kind of felt the book fizzle a bit. It was still good (I can't complain too much since I read the whole thing in one sitting) but it just didn't have the same momentum that the beginning had. I also found the ending a little unsatisfying. I was surprised at the (unrealistic?) amount of freedom the characters had since they are only teenagers, but that's typical in YA. I did love the concept of the book and I loved all the traveling. I also liked that while the characters were apart, each of their lives went on. They missed each other but didn't spend all their time pining over each other. By the end of the book I was debating between a 3/5 or 4/5 rating and decided on the latter because it was a cute story, it was imaginative and different and it felt like a nice little adventure to read.
If you liked The Geography of You and Me, you might like: