I found this cutie in the kids’ new books section at the library. Basically, 12 year-old Grayson was born a boy but feels like a girl on the inside. In this 243 page children’s novel, Grayson deals with various life crises, blossoms in new ways, and faces some hard truths about the world.
I’m all for children’s books that navigate the tricky paths of gender identity and difficult social situations. This one not only does so (ahem) gracefully enough, but also ends on an uplifting, hopeful note that will be desirable to its audience of 10-13 year old kids. If a queer kid (or future queer kid) happens to come upon this book, he or she will probably feel both relieved and empowered. I would have.
This book has a bummer of a title, but it’s all right. Indeed, there’s a dead best friend– and there’s Cass, who’s still alive. Basically, it’s a story about how Cass learns to deal with the loss– and also falls in (teenage) love along the way.
Chapter-by-chapter the narrative flip flops between past and present, which was a little weird. It was slow and funky at first, but It drew more of my commitment by the time I got to the middle. I didn’t find everything completely believable– but I do gotta support a decent librarian-authored book that somehow brings together bike touring, Quakers, drama, and teen lesbians.
This is the book that everyone was talking about at the beginning of the Summer. It was love-love-loved by lots of mainstream book reviewers, and everyone at the library was rushing to put it on hold because they’d heard it was the ultimate beach read.
It’s perfectly good, but I think I loved it less because it wasn’t as life-changing as all the hype made me think it would be. Plot-wise, it’s a classic slightly humorous, kinda gossipy NYT best seller about a wealthy white family from the east coast that goes on vacation and discovers things about each other and comes of age both as a unit and as individuals. I mean, it’s a solid book, an easy thing to recommend to someone who just wants to chill out and not think too much for a stretch of a few hours. You know how when you read a tabloid the nuances aren’t new but some of the people/places are? Kind of like that.
It’s not gonna change your life, but it will fill a few hours with well-written and nicely paced pleasantness.
Apparently, even as a YA enthusiast, I missed the Beautiful Creatures boat. This book came out in 2009, and a MOVIE came out a few months ago on Valentines day. Who would’ve thought?
Fans of Twilight will like Beautiful Creatures (it’s the first of a series). The writing isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot better.
Ethan lives in a boring small Southern town that never changes. There’s a town recluse in the “haunted” house on the hill. But! There’s a new girl in school. And she’s different from the others. AND she’s the niece of the recluse on the hill! Basically, Ethan commits social suicide when he and the new girl fall for each other, and lots of magical things happen, leading up to a very, very important deadline. Wow! Drama! Magic drama!
There are some endearing elements, but I wasn’t super-enamored. The setting makes this book a bit interesting. Beautiful Creatures is set in the deep South, in a place where the Civil War is still called the “War Between States,” there are reenacted battles at regular intervals, and the white folks in town are very interested in their heritage. This all plays into the plot (though I wish it was less subtle). I kind of want to watch the movie so I can see how they treated this element… Sigh, it will be a long wait before the library gets it.
Find a copy at the library