Friday, May 13, 2016

Book Mini- Reviews: Three TBF YA Authors I'll be Fangirling Tomorrow (Talley, Hopkins, Anderson)

The problem with trying to read ALL THE BOOKS at one time is that I don’t have time to review them in a way that gives them justice. And I could say something ridiculous like, “oh, I will just review them later.” But when I say things like that, my psyche physically steps from my body (like Peter Pan’s shadow) and slaps me HARD across the face. She’s kind of a bitch, actually, but she’s right. It’s just not going to happen.

But I want to pause in my brain numbing readathon and post about the last three books I finished. Two were written by authors I had already read and one was an author discovery. They are all planning to be at the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival tomorrow. [Click here for the last update on my RocTBF2016 challenge.]

Each tells the tale of a teen on the brink of adulthood who have to figure out what they believe about themselves after a life time of input from parents and peers. Many of whom have their own baggage and agendas.

Robin Talley's book, Lies We Tell Ourselves is set in 1959 during the forced integration of a white school in Virginia. The story the experience from the point of view of two characters: 1) Sarah, a talented Black senior whose family has moved to the South to be part of the movement, and 2) Linda, a White classmate who is the daughter of one of the most outspoken anti- integrationists in the land. Linda's been given a great deal of miseducation her whole life about Black people in general and learns a lot about race and about her self as she gets to know Sarah. And they both discover their feelings for each other are much more complicated than they expected they ever could be.

Smoke is the sequel to Ellen Hopkin's Burned, a book I read for last year's TBF challenge. Burned FLOORED me last year. It tells the tell of a teenager who is being raised in the Mormon tradition. She's the oldest and has taken the brunt of her father's drunken abuse over the years. When she is sent away to live with her Aunt, she discovers love and her own strengths. The book's ending was... well... I still can't talk about it. Smoke was a great book of redemption and a wonderful wrap up. The feels just keep coming with this book set and I will definitely be checking out more of Ms. Hopkins shenanigans.

Twisted was written by Laurie Halse Anderson, an author I already love based on several other books I've read. I also met her in person last year at Book Riot Live, which made me love her all the more. We hugged. I'm just saying... Anyway. Twisted is about Tyler, a 17- year-old nerd boy who is on probation for a stupid prank he pulled last year. He's getting some new attention this year as a senior from the most popular girl in school, and the girl's brother who has been Tyler's bully since middle school. Tyler goes through the year trying to figure out how to handle his new attention, his new stronger body (built from doing community service), and his ever- present hard on in the context of an emotionally abusive father. For a while, Tyler isn't sure that he can cope and he struggles with a serious decision. I loved the ending of this book for many reasons. But I don't want to give it away.

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