Double-teen Book Reviews Edition!
I am so busy, so here is a 2fer.
Book Review: Lauren Yanofsky Hates the Holocaust BY Leanne Lieberman
I appreciate that this book plays with a topic that is so often ignored by YA lit: religion. And in particular, discomfort with religion.
Our protagonist Lauren has grown up Jewish in a pretty observant family; she had a bat mitzvah, she used to go to the Jewish youth group, and she had to beg her parents to allow her to exchange the fancy Jewish private school for the ordinary public school. Oh, and she might be questioning her belief in the religion– but that’s to the side of the main point. The main point is that the boy who she’s been flirting with plays Nazi games when he gets drunk and this really appalls her because you see, in addition to it being generally messed up, she has built up multiple layers of holocaust-related trauma. And it’s starting to seem like the entirety of her and her religion is based around the holocaust and her friends don’t understand… My description may seem clunky, but the author actually deals with it all pretty smartly.
This is a really solid book in lots of ways. It’s well-written and has surrounding friendship drama plots, coming of age stuff, imperfect relationships and choices, problematic parenting, familial imperfection.
This unusual book is quite good and it won’t take you too long to read. Check it Out!
The Secret Ingredient by Stewart Lewis
Olivia is 16 and lives with her 2 dads in LA. The family owns a fancy little restaurant that Olivia (genius cook that she is) cooks the weekly specials for. But Oh No! the bankers are coming after the family’s restaurant and house because the business hasn’t been doing so hot. Meanwhile, Olivia gets a really cool part time job, bends some legal rules to try to meet her birth-mom (she’s adopted), spends time with a boy from her past, and encounters a lovely little dose of magic. What will happen?!?!
This is a nice read that covers lots of ground and has a good amount of dimension. I wish there was more character depth and physical description of people and outfits, but that’s just me. There are some really good and detailed descriptions of the food– and I guess that’s closer to where the plot’s at anyway. I’d been missing magic, and this had a tidy little dose of it. Get a copy!