Mary knew that young women in nineteen-fifties England were supposed to be modest, self-deprecating, and demure. They should not have too much self-confidence, not assert their sexuality or independence, and never express their appetite or desire. They should be restrained, make sacrifices, and put others first.
Mary knew it, but she thought it was poppycock. Baloney, she thought, what a load of nonsense, and she cocked a snook at it.
—Unbecoming, by Jenny Downham
Unbecoming opens in a hospital ...
‘Not Just the Dirty Parts’
I made Nick promise
not to tell anyone else
when people look at me
I want them to see
all of me.
—Ask Me How I Got Here, by Christine Heppermann
Addie Solokowski is a sophomore at Immaculate Heart Academy, an all-girls Catholic school in Minnesota. She’s a star of the cross country team; her parents have a solid relationship with her and with each other; she’s dating a dudebro-ish hockey player from ...
As I’m sure you know, Mother’s Day was yesterday. Which, of course, got me thinking about recent depictions of mothers in YA books. For years now, especially with the rise of more romance-centric stories and dystopian adventures, the majority of the YA I’ve encountered has been heavily focused on the dynamics between teenagers. Which is all well and good, and obviously of interest to the target audience as well as a hugely important facet of adolescent life and of growing ...
“I bet you play chess,” she says.
I shake my head. “I quit in junior high.”
“You were good, though, right?”
“I don’t do anything I’m not good at.”
We stand there looking at each other over the carved-up benches. She’s wearing so much eyeliner that it’s starting to flake off in waxy pieces, like crayon.
“You didn’t quit,” she says finally. “You just found yourself a bigger board with ...
New month, new books! Here are a few that I’m especially looking forward to:
If I Was Your Girl, by Meredith Russo
Gena/Finn, by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson
As usual, I’m starting the list off with the books I’ve already read! If I Was Your Girl is a realistic contemporary about love and friendship and family starring a trans girl, written by a trans author. It was the first book I read this year—I fell in love ...
When it comes to YA stories that retell or riff on classic works—and if we’re not counting the fairy tales compiled by the Grimms—more often than not, the inspiration comes from Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, Nathaniel Hawthorne, or William Shakespeare. And while it felt for a while that every third book I picked up was a rewrite of Pride & Prejudice, I suspect that if we made a list, there would be far and away more Shakespeare rewrites than ...
Even though I haven’t spoken to her in ten years, I know almost everything there is to know about Callie Greenwood. Everything except the thing I desperately need to know.
Does she still think about it?
—The Darkest Corners, by Kara Thomas
Ten years ago, Tessa Lowell and her best friend Callie testified in the biggest murder case that Fayette, Pennsylvania had ever seen. Their testimony clinched the case against Wyatt Stokes—between their eyewitness accounts and some circumstantial evidence ...
As I’m sure you know, there’s a celebration day for pretty much anything you can imagine. Today, April 18th is—according to various sources and among other things—International Amateur Radio Day, National Lineman Appreciation Day, National Velociraptor Awareness Day, Newspaper Columnists Day, Adult Autism Awareness Day, and World Heritage Day.
It is also National Animal Crackers Day—because why not?—and with that lightly-sweetened deliciousness in mind, let’s take a look at some circus-themed YA books:
The Weight of Feathers, by Anna-Marie ...