Today I realized it’s been almost a month since I blogged about my reading life so I am dedicating this blog to catching up! I am still working on my professional development book for the semester (whoops) but I have worked my way through a list of YA titles and I would like to tell you all about them!
I read two emotion-packed, crisis-based novels, “Exit, Pursued by a Bear” by E.K. Johnston and “This is How it Ends” by Marieke Nijkamp. The first one is about Hermione Winters, a cheerleader who is raped at coed cheer camp. We follow her through her school year of confusion, anxiety, and recovery as she overcomes triggers, accusing classmates and facing the fact she may never know who harmed her. I enjoyed this book because it was the first time I read a plot about rape that made me feel what the victim was going through and it explained cheerleading as more than a sport for girls with poor life views.
The second title also takes place within the walls of a high school and throws the reader right into the emotional turmoil of a school shooting. Each segment only covers a couple minutes at a time – the whole novel is only 54 minutes- and is told from multiple points of view. I got a little confused because there are a few sets of siblings and it took me a while to tell who was related to who. Every part of me wanted to throw this book at the wall but the story kept me turning each page.
I also read a couple graphic novels in October. “Spinning” by Tillie Walden is an account of her personal experience in the competitive ice skating world. She was not happy with her life but performed on and off the ice as expected. In reality, she is a closet lesbian with social struggles and an unsatisfied home life. My favorite part was how each chapter is named after an ice skating move whose complexity reflects that section’s content.
“Relish” and “Something New” are both written by Lucy Knisley and both more than just a story. A good handful of my Special Methods class has blogged about “Relish” so I won’t bore you with yet another review of this food-filled autobiography. I am still working on “Something New”, the graphic document of her wedding planning and wedding. Knisley inserts humorous charts and facts between her chapters, like a review of all the wedding films she watched in preparation for her own.
In celebration of my high school reading habits, I attempted to read “Once and for All”, Sarah Dessen’s new novel. It sounded like a story I would enjoy; a wedding planning business, a broken heart, a charming smart-alec and a summer of freedom. Turns out I’ve grown in more than one way since 2014. I only made it to about page 90 before I lost interest. There was nothing wrong with the book, I just couldn’t stay interested long enough to finish it. I also couldn’t take the name ‘Ambrose’ seriously.
But to end on an uplifting note, I will tell you all about “Unfiltered”. Lily Collins, goddess of everything eyebrows, composed this series of essays about life as a young woman. She has personally dealt with eating disorders, abusive relationships, and self-discovery. At a young age, Collins took an interest in journaling which is reflected in “Unfiltered”. Family photos are sprinkled throughout the pages to accompany the text, too. 😊 I would recommend this book to a classroom library because it would be a highlight for any growing girl, specifically with self-acceptance, a new interest in writing, traveling, reading full-length novels, or eating disorders.
So this is what I have been up to the past few weeks between classes, shifts, episodes of Boy Meets World and trips home to South Dakota. Happy reading, everyone!
All photos courtesy of goodreads.com.
Sorry about the formatting, I had a lot of book covers to arrange and WordPress just really wanted me to have lotsa white space, despite my repetitive editing.