I used to think your friends were your friends no matter what, but that’s not how it works. There is elementary school, and then there is middle school, where suddenly all the rules change and no one tells you how to play and the only thing you know for sure is that you are losing. Everything about you is wrong: your hair, your personality, your jeans.
—Where You’ll Find Me, Natasha Friend
As first paragraphs go, this one’s a ...
My legs were longer than Bo’s, and it wouldn’t be too hard to keep up if I could just push past my instincts, if I could just let myself run with her. I kept my legs moving, kept my fingers locked with Bo’s as we ran into the cornfield. I stumbled over the terrain, shocked by the brush of stalks against my bare legs. I focused on the rhythm of my feet slapping against the ground, trying to keep it ...
I’m going to go ahead and gloss right over how quickly summer has gotten here, and how quickly I suspect it’s going to go by. Let’s focus on more cheerful things, like some of the June releases I’m waiting for!
American Girls, by Alison Umminger
Mothers and sisters and what it’s like to grow up female in America, the celebrity machine, how someone can go from ‘the girl next door’ to not only lost, but forgotten. I read an earlier ...
True to my usual always-on-the-cutting-edge form, four years after it launched, I have finally started watching Elementary. I’d been putting it off because I enjoy Sherlock so much and mistakenly assumed that there was only room for one version of Holmes and Watson in my heart at once. After watching the first five episodes in one sitting, I can admit that, yes, I was entirely, without a doubt, wrong!*
To celebrate my utter wrongness—and, yes, in this case, it really ...
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 ...