Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Mini-Reviews: We Are Okay and You're Welcome, Universe

Here’s a wee post on a couple of cute little slice- of- life books I’ve read recently. They both feature diverse protagonists that aren’t trying to be diverse. They are just being teens/ young adults and trying to live their lives.

We Are Okay by Nina LeCour:
You’ll have to excuse me if you’ve heard my thoughts on We Are Okay before. I swear I reviewed it but can’t find where that might have been. This is a book about a girl who has been in college for a few months after basically running away from home with nothing but her clothes, some money, and her phone, which she is ignoring. We aren’t told until much later what The Thing was that happened to make her leave her life behind. The big reveal was a little anti-climactic for me, but I think it’s because I’m a robot. I love Nina LeCour’s writing style and characters. We spend time getting to know Marin through flashbacks and her current day situation and she is trying to relate to her best friend, whom she abandoned without a word when she left. Prior to reading this, I was in a room with a bunch of people who fawned over this book (at TBF 2017). Fawning really changes my experience with a book. Plus, I had read Everything Leads to You already and I LOVED it. So, while I really liked this book, it was unfairly set up to not hit 5 stars from me; I should have waited. I plan to reread it, sometime. (Also, Nina LeCour is lovely, generous, and a joy. I plan to read everything she’s written.) Note: This is an #ownvoices LGBTQ book. So is Everything Leads to You. Just saying.

You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Garnder:

First, and unrelatedly: Whitney is one of my favorite names. Ok. So this book is about a Deaf teenager who is kicked out of her school for the deaf after painting graffiti over on the wall. She is sent to a mainstream school where she is forced to interact with more hearing people. I went back and forth in my like for this main character, she bordered on that line of pain in the ass selfishness/ obtuseness a few times but ultimately I landed on “like.” I think I liked her art teacher the most. I loved the elements related to both being a member of the Deaf community as well as being a part of the street art community. This book isn’t about Julia being Deaf, it’s about her joining a new community, with varied reception, and trying to keep up with her art. And friendship. At the center of the story is Julia’s figuring out what it means to trust, be trustworthy, and what it means to be a friend. (Note: I don't know if this is ownvoices because I haven't found if Ms. Garnder is Deaf indicated anywhere.)

More Great #WNDB YALit:

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