Thursday, March 13, 2014
When I posted last time, I wrote about the recent (and past) Morris winners and nominees, and how they never fail to impress me.  One of the books that I mentioned, but realized I still hadn't read was THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST.  I purchased this ebook in 2012 when it was released and somehow it got lost in the queue.  I'm kicking myself for not having read this one sooner because there was definitely some hype and some love for this book going around.  And now I have to chase after the conversation again...

Where are my fangirls?

I want to gush.  I want to put this book into everyone's hand and say, "This! This is how it's done."  The characters are so authentic, I expected Cameron to walk into my living room and sit down on the couch with me.  The setting, the themes, the kissing! all impacted upon my reader sensibilities.  I wanted to fight for Cameron when all things were going against her. 

She has the most painful journey.

This is a story about a person who isn't permitted to be herself.  I think most of us can relate to that universal theme. And yet, what makes Cameron so phenomenal is that she knows herself.  Without question.  That is sometimes the hardest part in shifting from adolescence to adult.
 
This week I'm reading Andrew Smith's GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE (haven't gotten to the praying mantises yet) and sexual identity is fairly central, but the main character is much more confused.  Sometimes the ultimate battle for survival is not fought with Hollywood explosions and flash, but the internal battle of being honest with yourself. 

Facing the truth is treacherous.

One of the things I love about YA fiction is that authors are kicking-in the fence between "normal" and "other" in relation to "majority" and "minority"...and breaking down these meaningless categories.  Ask any teenager and they'll tell you that they don't accept labels as prescribed.  This truth somehow gets lost in the adult world. 

Sexuality is not the story. We need fiction that isn't categorized as such, and both THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST and GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE are examples of how to do this right.  They're just good stories.

What do you think?  Any other examples you can think of where societal labels and barriers are being broken down?

Winners from our World Book Day Giveaway are:
Winner--NOT A DROP TO DRINK: Batool A.
Winner--THE DEMON'S LEXICON: Lisa @ Lisa Likes Books

Thank you to everyone who participated -- we loved reading about your favorite books. Winners, please send an email to weheartya[at]gmail[dot]com with your mailing information and we'll send your prizes along.

2 comments:

Kristan Hoffman said...

I'll probably skip GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE, but now I really can't wait to read MISEDUCATION. I suspect I will love it. Tough contemp is just where I'm at right now. Speaking of which, I think/hope you're going to love WE WERE LIARS. There's a bit of mystery, but it's kind of like the mystery in JELLICOE; it's definitely a driving factor, but it's secondary to the character stuff.

Cynthia So said...

I loved Miseducation so much! Just finished reading it this morning and wrote a review on my blog. Just absolutely amazing. I agree; the characters are just so utterly believable. Why aren't there more books like it?

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


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on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Transparent
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
Bitterblue
The Fault in Our Stars
Pretties


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