Monday, November 23, 2015

Carry OnAccording to GoodReads...

"Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters."

According to us...

The Reading Date: First of all, did we all read Fangirl? Were you interested in reading more of Simon and Baz's story?

We Heart YA: HAHA great question. I LOVED Fangirl, but I found the fanfic interlude chapters to be a bit of a distraction. Fun! But not necessary. So no, I wasn't all that interested in Simon & Baz as part of Fangirl. But I kind of trust Rainbow Rowell with anything, lol.

The Reading Date: For me, the fanfic parts of Fangirl weren't my favorite parts. But I was surprised how much I really enjoyed these characters in Carry On.

The Reading Date: Carry On kind of makes me want to re-read Fangirl now for more of their story.

We Heart YA: oohhhh GOOD IDEA. I think those sections would mean more to me now -- or mean something different, anyway

The Reading Date: I'm sure you've both read Harry Potter. Did you compare the two "worlds" as you were reading Carry On?

We Heart YA: Not intentionally, but it's impossible not to see some parallels. To me, Carry On felt like if someone took Harry Potter, Twilight, and Rainbow Rowell's voice and then shoved it all into a blender. I mean that in a good way! The story is very much in dialogue with other stories -- but it's also very much Rainbow's own.

The Reading Date: Oh I love that!!! And yeah, even though this is new territory for Rainbow, being a work of fantasy, it still very much had her contemporary touch on it if that makes sense. It was accessible for me - someone not that crazy about fantasy.

The Reading Date: What has your experience been with fanfic? Ever read or written any?

Teen Lit Rocks: I have read a lot of fanfic but all Harry Potter

We Heart YA: I've read lots of fanfic, and written some, but it was all well before YA's heydey, so it was mostly TV shows I liked (such as Star Trek and Sailor Moon)

We Heart YA: I think Carry On is distinct from fanfic, even if it has some roots there, or similarities.

The Reading Date: Right? This book concept is crazy like fanfic of a fanfic- and it sounds like it wouldn't work but it does!

We Heart YA: lol Rainbow is magic that way. She makes all sorts of things that shouldn't work, work

The Reading Date: Hee yes! I saw Rainbow speak at Comic-Con this summer and she was saying how writing Carry On was so difficult for her. Writing Fantasy vs. Contemporary was so new and different. But yup she makes it work!

The Reading Date: It's a long book but it reads quickly, doesn't it?

We Heart YA: omg yes. Rainbow's prose is so simple and honest, I zip right through it

Eleanor & ParkThe Reading Date: What's your favorite Rainbow book?

We Heart YA: Fangirl, actually. I identified strongly with Cath, and even though I've never been to Nebraska, the story transported me right back to my college days, which are among the best and most formative of my life

The Reading Date: That totally makes sense about Fangirl. Cath is so relatable,

Teen Lit Rocks: I think Eleanor and Park is still my favorite but I love them all

The Reading Date: I'm cheating because I don't know that I have a favorite! But Fangirl is a good one- I like them all for different reasons. I really didn't expect to like Carry On so much though.

We Heart YA: I like them all for different reasons too, hehe, and I also did not expect to like Carry On so much

The Reading Date: So, was this a book you were drawn into right away because you were familiar with the characters from Fangirl? How did it compare to Rainbow's other books for you?

Teen Lit Rocks: To be honest I would sometimes skim the story within a story in fangirl so I wasn't sure how it would work for me. I needed assurances from a close friend and book blogger that it wasn't going to be just a rainbow-fied spoof of HP

We Heart YA: Mm, I didn't remember too much about the characters from Fangirl, so that wasn't the draw for me. I just adore Rainbow's storytelling and narrative voice -- which were strong as ever in this, even though it was a very different kind of book for her

The Reading Date: Were you satisfied with the book in the end?

Teen Lit Rocks: Yes! In some ways Simon has to sacrifice more of himself than Harry did and I wondered if she was the sort of HP fan who felt like Harry got off a bit too easy

We Heart YA: I finished the book pretty recently, so I'm still parsing out my feelings... but overall I would say yes, I am satisfied. I especially appreciated the commentary represented by Agatha and by the Mage

Teen Lit Rocks: And I was worried about the romance because m:m written by het women can be seen as slash instead of genuinely romantic

We Heart YA: While I'm not sure how I felt about the romance from Simon's side, I got chills from Baz's perspective

The Reading Date: I definitely shipped those two. The book really came alive for me when Baz came on the scene.

Teen Lit Rocks: Yes!

We Heart YA: YES!

Teen Lit Rocks: And you have to read like a third of it until he makes an appearance

We Heart YA: OMG I KNOW IT WAS TORTURE (I mean, not really torture, lol... But I was definitely anxious to meet him, and to find out why he was missing. (Numpties! Lol)

Teen Lit Rocks: Basically her romances ALWAYS work for me. She's the YA goddess of tension and anticipation

The Reading Date: Yes! I was super impressed with the story, the magic, the friendships and romance. And I was so skeptical but won over at the end. But I still want Rainbow to write more contemporary ☺

Teen Lit Rocks: Yes! I felt the same way

We Heart YA: In terms of diversity, there is the very obvious same sex coupling. But there was also subtle racial diversity (with Penelope and her family being Indian -- which wasn't an Issue at all, just a sidebar fact). And then there was what I thought was some interesting socioeconomic/class diversity, which was actually part of the plot.

Teen Lit Rocks: Indian Weasleys

We Heart YA: LOL so true. Although grumpier?

Teen Lit Rocks: I thought of Penelope as a mashup of Ron and Hermione. One True Friend, no romantic tension, large wizarding family, boyfriend she met on wizarding exchange.

Teen Lit Rocks: Lauren and I also noticed several Twilight references with the vampire romance

We Heart YA: Oh for sure! There were some good jokes/jabs in Carry On too, in reference to Twilight, Harry Potter, and a few other pop culture things I forget now. (Good natured jabs, I should clarify)

The Reading Date: I love that Rainbow is a Twilight fan!

We Heart YA: ME TOO. I hate how much hate Twilight gets. (There's a diff between criticism and hate)

The Reading Date: YES def.

The Reading Date: It was nice to see a gay romance at the center of the book. That's rare in fantasy, no?

Teen Lit Rocks: As the central story line yes. Although they exist… I just haven't read them! I did love Alex London's sci-fi/dystopian duology

The Reading Date: Oh right- Proxy was really good.

The Reading Date: Would you want to read more stories about Simon/Baz or should Rainbow move on to something new?

Teen Lit Rocks: I feel like she should go back to contemporary

We Heart YA: Hm. I feel like Simon/Baz is fairly complete at this point... She took them through their big journey

We Heart YA: I know that when we love stories, it's tempting to want more, but sometimes when authors give us more, they just muck things up... :P

The Reading Date: Agreed!

Teen Lit Rocks: Yes! I also think that sometimes publishers want bestselling authors to stay with their beloved universe/characters too long. It's like the equivalent of jumping the shark

We Heart YA: Exactly

Teen Lit Rocks: Like there are a few authors I want to read more from -- but not if it's yet another series about the same fairies/demonhunters/vampire lovers

We Heart YA: I love how Rainbow keeps moving on, giving us great standalones, but creating this body of work that is distinct but still satisfies fans hungering for more

* * * *

Are you hungering for more CARRY ON? Then be sure to check out all of our great posts:

• "Keep Calm and Listen On: The Carry On Audiobook Experience" at The Reading Date
"5 Things to Know About Rainbow Rowell" at Teen Lit Rocks

The entire YA Diversity Book Club archives can now be found on Tumblr, along with information about our upcoming book selections.

If you would like to join us in reading diversely next month, pick up a copy of DELICATE MONSTERS by Stephanie Kuehn.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Don't Fail Me Now

The very first book we ever read for YA Diversity Book Club was LIKE NO OTHER by Una LaMarche. Now Una has notched another first with us: She's the first author that we've read twice!

This month's selection was her latest, DON'T FAIL ME NOW, a delightful road trip novel with tons of diversity.
Michelle and her little siblings Cass and Denny are African-American and living on the poverty line in urban Baltimore, struggling to keep it together with their mom in jail and only Michelle’s part-time job at the Taco Bell to sustain them.

Leah and her stepbrother Tim are white and middle class from suburban Maryland, with few worries beyond winning lacrosse games and getting college applications in on time.

Michelle and Leah only have one thing in common: Buck Devereaux, the biological father who abandoned them when they were little.

After news trickles back to them that Buck is dying, they make the uneasy decision to drive across country to his hospice in California. Leah hopes for closure; Michelle just wants to give him a piece of her mind.

Five people in a failing, old station wagon, living off free samples at food courts across America, and the most pressing question on Michelle’s mind is: Who will break down first -- herself or the car? All the signs tell her they won’t make it. But Michelle has heard that her whole life, and it’s never stopped her before....
In a lot of ways, I am not like Michelle. I am not half-black; I did not grow up impoverished in inner city Baltimore; my mom is not a junkie; and my dad did not abandon me.

But in certain ways, I am like Michelle. On a superficial level, being half-Asian I can identify with belonging to multiple cultures and looking mixed. On a much deeper emotional level, I know what it's like to share a father with another family that's very different from my own.

My dad was married and had two daughters (and then got divorced) before meeting my mom and having me. I didn't really understand what that meant when I was little, and I didn't meet my half-sisters until I was 9. Like Michelle and Cass with Leah, I think they were wary of me, and maybe a bit resentful. But over time we've gotten to know each other better, we've gotten closer, and we've all realized that no matter what happened between our parents, we're family.

I think that theme is the strongest part of DON'T FAIL ME NOW. Family isn't just about blood -- it's about who we choose and how we treat them.

I especially liked that Michelle's family turned out to be so diverse -- in terms of race, socioeconomics, personality, and much more. Because that's how life is nowadays -- according to my personal experience, and national statistics. :P

DON'T FAIL ME NOW was a fantastic contemporary YA, managing to blend serious issues with humor and hope. I loved it.

In a similar but more mature vein, Tayari Jones's SILVER SPARROW also deals with half-sisters and secret families.

* * * *

For more about DON'T FAIL ME NOW, be sure to check out all of our great posts:

• Our book club's discussion at the Reading Date
• Q&A with author Una LaMarche at Teen Lit Rocks

The entire YA Diversity Book Club archives can now be found on Tumblr, along with information about our upcoming book selections.

Hope you'll join us in reading diversely next month! We'll be diving into CARRY ON by Rainbow Rowell, her fantasy spinoff (sort of) from FANGIRL.

Friday, October 2, 2015

One of my favorite things about YA Diversity Book Club is the connection and cooperation we get from authors. Today, we're chatting with author Anna-Marie McLemore about her lyrical and imaginative debut THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS.

1. Describe your book in a sentence or two.

THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS is a story of a longstanding feud between two families, the meeting of two different cultures, and the love between a boy and a girl who’ve been raised not to go near each other.

2. What was your inspiration for writing this book?

The book came out of two different sparks coming together: remembering a story my father told me years ago about a mermaid show he saw when he was about my age, and an idea about performers who wear wings while climbing the tallest trees they can find. The rest of the story emerged from the setting of those two rival shows.

3. What kind of research did you have to do to make sure your characters were authentic?

Though the characters are very much fictional, the culture and traditions of the Palomas, who are Mexican-American, drew on my family’s heritage. For the Corbeaus, I got in touch with a Romani studies scholar, whose expertise was invaluable in the process of making sure the book’s depiction was as respectful and accurate as possible.

The Weight of Feathers4. How did you come to incorporate the diverse elements in your book?

The Corbeaus and Palomas’ backgrounds felt very organic to these characters’ lives, and not just because I share the same heritage as Lace. The first thing I ever knew about Cluck Corbeau was his first name, but probably the second or third thing was that he was Romani. Though the idea of writing a main character whose background I don’t share intimidated me, the fact that it felt right for the story helped me get past that initial hesitation.

5. How does the diversity in your book relate to your life?

Like Lace, I know that sense of feeling isolated by your family’s traditions, but at the same time fiercely guarding them. There’s a sense of both pain and pride about being an outsider.

6. What are some of your favorite YA books about diverse characters?

If you let me name them all, we’ll be here a while! Because I identify as a queer writer, books with LGBT characters have been so important to me, and here I’ll name just a few: If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan is such a bittersweet portrayal of two girls facing who they’ll be as adults. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz is a vivid story not just of first love but of transcendent friendship. Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley is a poignant and beautiful novel about two high school seniors discovering who they are at a critical moment in history. Her upcoming What We Left Behind is also a scathingly real depiction of how a teen’s exploration of gender identity impacts both his life and the lives of those he loves.

7. What areas of diversity do you want to draw attention to or do you feel are underrepresented in books?

There are so many different aspects of diversity we need more of. I’d love to see diverse writers feel free to tell the stories they want to tell. Whether they want to write about characters who just happen to be diverse, or characters for whom that’s the focus of their story. Both those sides, and everything in between, are valid and valuable. If writers of all backgrounds feel free and empowered to tell stories, how they want to tell them, all of us—and our bookshelves—will end up stronger.

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For more about THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS, be sure to check out all of our great posts:

• Our book club's discussion at Teen Lit Rocks
• "The Weight of Feathers Further Reading: Diverse Fantasy and Latin Heritage Month Recs" at the Reading Date

The entire YA Diversity Book Club archives can now be found on Tumblr, along with information about our upcoming book selections.

Hope you'll join us in reading diversely next month!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What book on your shelf right now have you owned the longest without getting around to reading it? Why haven't you read it?

Kristan: Ohhh, you caught me. I have a LOT of these kinds of books.

The oldest ones are probably CATCH-22 and COLD SASSY TREE, both free from my high school journalism teacher, who was cleaning out her shelves at the end of the year. (Omg high school was so long ago.) I haven't gotten around to them because my TBR pile grows faster than I can read! And usually the "fresher" ones feel more urgent/exciting to me, so I read them first.

But I do go back and prune from time to time, which can bring older titles to my attention again. The ones that don't get cut, anyway. :P I'm sure I'll get around to them all someday...

Ingrid: Okay, I looked at my (very big) pile of TBR books and found these three:

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

These three have been on my pile for awhile now and I think I keep passing them up for the YA books I love to devour. But now that you've reminded me, Steph, I think I'll put these front and center!


NOGGIN by John Corey Whaley
SAY HER NAME by James Dawson

These are the top three that have sat longest on my shelf, mostly because I have to be in the mood for each of them. Quirky contemp used to be my sweet spot and I know that NOGGIN would satisfy, but I've had enough for a while. Andrew Smith sort of broke that for me. I've wanted to read a good (non-gory) horror and James Dawson is a rising UK talent so no doubt I'll get on that soon. Same with high fantasy. I have to be in the mood or I lose patience with the detail and pacing that, when I'm down for it, is one of my favourite aspects of the genre.

Stephanie: Most of my books are actually packed away right now, waiting for me to finish restoring my new (old) house. So I'm sure I have books much older than the one I'm going to talk about.

The book I've had the longest that I've not yet read is Mistwalker by Saundra Mitchell. I'm still really excited about reading it, but I just haven't got around to it. Lately, I've been mostly listening to audiobooks, which I can get through while driving or folding laundry or working.

Friday, August 28, 2015

For more about EVERYTHING EVERYTHING, be sure to check out all of our great posts:

Q&A with author Nicola Yoon at Gone Pecan
"Everything to Read after EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING" at the Reading Date
"Hapa Characters in YA" at Teen Lit Rocks

The entire YA Diversity Book Club archives can now be found on Tumblr, along with information about our upcoming book selections.

Hope you'll join in reading and chatting next month!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Today I am happy to announce that YA Diversity Book Club has been going strong for a whole year!

To celebrate, Teen Lit Rocks and the Reading Date are giving away a bunch of amazing books. DO NOT WALK RUN RUN RUN to their sites and enter for your chance to win!

And since you're already clicking around, please head on over to YADBC's new Tumblr and Twitter accounts too. That's where we'll be announcing each month's selection so that people can join the club and read along with us. We're also going to move from private discussions between the four of us to live Twitter chats (hashtag TBD) with anyone and everyone who wants to participate.

Here's to cultivating a more diverse readership of more diverse YA books!

In honor of YADBC's anniversary, I'd like to share a few things that I've learned from a year of consciously seeking out diverse YA.

- There are many kinds of diversity. 

Race, of course, is a big one. Sexuality, too. We've also read about religion (twice), class/poverty, and disability. Many of the books covered more than one type of diversity, too. Because people are beautifully multi-faceted.

All that in just one year -- 10 books -- and all that is just touching the surface.

- Not all diverse books are about diversity.

Sometimes the diverse elements are just inherent to the characters, not a Big Thing that the plot revolves around.

Sometimes a book's diversity comes directly from its author, because writers who are not part of the dominant culture inherently offer an Othered perspective or speak with an Othered voice.

- Diversity is a good thing, but a book that includes diversity is not automatically a good book.

Sometimes a diverse book just isn't very well-written. The characters are one-dimensional, or the plot moves slowly, or the language is dull. *shrug* It happens, and it has nothing to do with diversity.

When the problem is due to diversity, it's usually because of insufficient research, or research that has been poorly deployed -- i.e., misinformation and stereotyping.

Some people believe that bad representation is worse than no representation. Others believe that increased visibility is better than invisibility. Either way, I think the ideal we should be striving for is prominent AND accurate diversity.

Failing isn't fun, but what matters most is that we keep trying, and failing better, and trying again.

- Not everyone will agree on whether or not diversity has been portrayed appropriately.

One of the best things about reading is that it's largely about personal connection and interpretation. A story is written by an author, but it is brought to life by a reader and their imagination. Naturally, that means there will be differing opinions. For example, some people objected to ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell, whereas I found it to be a true-to-life and moving portrayal of mixed Asian heritage.

Debating right or wrong isn't the point; discussing is.

That's why we started this book club: to explore the rich world of diversity in YA literature, to spotlight it for the community, to learn from it. Contemporary, historical, romantic, adventurous, high fantasy, low sci-fi, mid paranormal, whatever! Diversity can be found in every genre. Diversity can entertain, challenge, and nourish all at the same time.

But as of right now, diversity is still underrepresented in YA literature. #WeNeedDiverseBooks

These are the things that I have learned during our first year of the YA Diversity Book Club. Here's to next year, and new lessons, and more great books! I hope you'll join us.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Over the weekend I visited Chicago with a girl friend, and we popped into the Chicago Cultural Center on Michigan Ave. I had been in this building before to admire the two gorgeous domes (one done by Tiffany's!) but somehow I had missed these wonderful bookish quotes. Apparently the CCC was originally a library. It makes me smile to imagine such a beautiful space filled with rows and rows of books...

angie's visit 037 angie's visit 038 angie's visit 039 angie's visit 040

Between the stunning architecture and the free rotating art exhibits, this place is not to be missed!

Friday, July 10, 2015


The Walls Around UsTHE WALLS AROUND US by Nova Ren Suma is a kaleidoscope of haunting emotions and damaged girls. You may feel a little disoriented at first, but trust me when I say that Nova knows what she's doing, and it all weaves together just as it should.

Guilt, innocence, justice. Friendship, loyalty, betrayal. The past, the present, and the slippery space where time gets all mixed up.

Violet, Amber, Orianna.

These girls, these themes, are so powerful. The use of collective first person ("we") draws us into Amber's life in prison. I felt the wildness of those girls, of that life, even amidst the sterile gray walls and neatly labeled cells that are meant to impose order.

The story moves quietly, like a stream trickling through a forest. A smart reader will probably know what's coming, but that doesn't kill the suspense. This isn't about surprises (although there is a good one at the end). This is about the way girls have to survive. About all the different ways they can be harmed, and all the different ways they can harm others. It's about the power of perception, and our place in the world. It's about how even good things -- like friendship, like trust -- can be wielded as weapons when put in the hands of the wrong person. It's about how blame isn't a ribbon you can pin on just one person, but rather a chain that links us all together.

I know that sounds grim and dark, but, well, maybe it sort of is. Darkness exists. And it isn't something we can just wish away or hide from. Darkness is not inherently bad. My advice is to sit with the darkness, sit with your discomfort, and just maybe it will illuminate a few things for you, before it's too late.

That's how I felt about THE WALLS AROUND US. Disturbed, but in an important, hopeful way.

# # #

Also, just because it needs to be said: "Swear to god a ghost just tried to eat my hair haha not kidding omg" is one of the funniest lines ever. Read the book so we can laugh about it together.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Under a Painted SkyMissouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier.

Life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.

My absolute favorite thing about UNDER A PAINTED SKY is Annamae. Also known as "Andy," she is spunky and smart, devout but pragmatic. She braves the Oregon Trail due to a burning belief in freedom, and an urgent, unwavering love of her brothers. Despite the horrors she has witnessed and endured, she remains hopeful, even humorous at times. She won my heart on every page.

I love when the protagonist isn't the only awesome character in a story. I love when best friends, siblings, and other side characters shine with charm. It really enriches the reading experience -- and it makes me like the protagonist more too! After all, a person's friends say a lot about them. You are who you associate with.

Other "sidekicks" that I adored:

• Zuzana in the DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE series by Laini Taylor
• Sturmhond in SIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo
• Kurt in ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Stephanie Perkins
Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1) Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2) Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)
Who are your favorite side characters?

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For more on UNDER A PAINTED SKY, be sure to check out all of our great features:

• Our group discussion at Teen Lit Rocks
• Q&A with Stacey Lee (+ giveaway!) at Gone Pecan
• "Count on Me: Strong Female Friendships in YA" at the Reading Date

Next month we'll be celebrating our book club's 1-year anniversary! Stay tuned for some special posts. We will also be announcing how you can join us and the YADBC each month. For starters, you may want to visit and follow our brand new Tumblr. ;)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bone GapBONE GAP is not really about bees, in case you were wondering.

That cover is striking though, isn't it? As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to read the story within. They say not to judge a book by its cover, but in this case I'm glad I did.

In BONE GAP, I found warm honey and whispering corn fields. A magical midnight horse and a goat that says "meh." Two boys who have lost so much that they believe everyone and everything will leave them. A stunningly beautiful young woman with a gift for making things grow. The mysterious shadow of a man who kidnaps her. And the bee-faced girl with long legs, a sharp tongue, and a tender heart.

Perhaps nothing that came out of her mouth was as interesting to him as the mouth itself.

One of the many themes that author Laura Ruby explores in BONE GAP is the objectification of women. Roza is not kidnapped because she is capable and clever and kind. Roza is kidnapped because she is pretty. She is seen as a thing to be had, not a person to know, understand, or appreciate. Her beauty is a double-edged sword, but she is the one facing the pointy end.

A pretty face is just a lucky accident. Pretty can’t feed you. And you’ll never be pretty enough for some people.

Petey (Priscilla) is not lovely -- not in the traditional sense anyway. The way that people dehumanize her is different from the way they objectify Roza -- it's motivated by distate rather than desire -- but it's the other side of the same coin. Petey is still reduced to a body, a face.

(Never by the author, though! That's important.)

He said, “I love you.”
She shook her head. “You can see me, that’s all.”
But wasn’t that love? Seeing what no one else could?

"They" say that love is blind. Laura Ruby suggests that love allows us to see -- more clearly, more brightly, more honestly -- a person's invisible qualities, their hidden beauty and value. So who is correct, "they" or Ruby?

I say both. I say that more than one thing can be true at the same time. Even if those things seem, at first, to be contradictory.

BONE GAP is filled with nuanced thinking of this sort. It's a story for readers who are not afraid of tough, interesting questions (and occasionally tough, interesting answers). Readers who want to go on a magical journey right here in the real world. Readers who are willing to slip between the cracks of what's known in order to explore the things that could be.

* * * 

Dumplin'Another book with similar themes that we are really looking forward to reading is DUMPLIN' by Julie Murphy. Look how cute that cover is! Obviously the tone of this book is going to be pretty different from BONE GAP -- and that's a good thing. We need all kinds of stories, all kinds of beauty.

PS: For more YA quotes that we love, check out

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about us

Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.




on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
The Fault in Our Stars

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