Showing posts with label jenny han. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jenny han. Show all posts

Friday, April 7, 2017

Recommendation: Girl Out of Water - Laura Silverman: Surfing and One-Armed Skaters

In GIRL OUT OF WATER, surfer girl Anise has to move from Santa Cruz to Nebraska when her aunt has an accident.
What intrigued me: Always there for cute contemporaries!

Bittersweet and Unique

GIRL OUT OF WATER hit me out of nowhere. With lyrical prose and a voice that packs a punch, it reads like it's written from the heart. Silverman's narration is captivating, sassy, essentially teen, and just an absolute delight. 

I'm especially happy to see a protagonist in YA contemporary that I'm very sure I've never seen before. When was the last time you read about a surfer girl-turned skater? So interesting to read about and the nuanced way Silverman writers about the bittersweet experience of leaving home hit very close to home for me personally.

GIRL OUT OF WATER is a story about family, friendships, and growing up. It's quiet, it's funny, it's bittersweet - it's just the perfect read for spring and summer and I'm very happy that I chose to give this one a shot. However, don't expect fast-paced action when picking this one up, GIRL OUT OF WATER is quiet first and foremost and capitalizes on its fantastic characters. If you fall in love with them, this will be even more fun for you and I can wholeheartedly recommend this if you like character-driven contemporaries.


Diversity Done Right

I was especially happy about the casual diversity. Anise's best friend Tess is Samoan, there are sapphic background characters, and the love interest is a black one-armed skater. It's very rare that you'll find a book that doesn't capitalize and advertise with its diversity, but uses it as a given. Our world is diverse. People are diverse. 

I absolutely enjoyed about these characters who just happen to be marginalized and whose marginalizations don't involve huge plot complications or are used as plot devices - I have to remark that because unfortunately a lot of books do this. Not this one though. GIRL OUT OF WATER reflects our diverse world beautifully in a quiet manner that just made me squeal with joy. I wish this was the norm. More like this please.


Rating:

★★★★★

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

GIRL OUT OF WATER is quiet and fun contemporary with a sassy narrator that I'm sure teens will love. If you like Ashley Herring Blake and Jenny Han, you'll adore this. With a black amputee love interest, a Samoan BFF and sapphic side characters, the background diversity made me really happy. That's so nice to read.



Additional Info

Published: May 2nd 2017
Pages: 320
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA / Contemporary
ISBN: 9781492646860

Synopsis:
"Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves "
(Source: Goodreads)


What's your favorite contemporary?

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

[Review] The Summer I Turned Pretty (#1) - Jenny Han: It All Comes Down To Beauty






In THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY, 15-year-old Isabel's entire life changes when she discovers one summer that she actually turned pretty. 


Toxic Mindset

The novel is set in your typical summer beach town and if I read another sentence like "this summer everything would change" or "this summer is the summer of a lifetime", I might roll my eyes so hard that they simply get stuck in the back of my head. 

I can't stand novels that give toxic vibes to teenagers. Having your main characters life suddenly become perfect and beautiful the second she grows boobs and looses her braces? Come on. We have enough of that in all those terrible high school romcom movies.

The Summer of Every Cliché Ever

There's every single cliche of a summer read in this novel, we have bonfires, parties, weird dudes to hook up with, jealousy and I wouldn't even be surprised if she gets blackout drunk in the last chapters and hooks up with one of the dudes. I didn't finish this one, because I honestly had to force myself.

Love interest Conrad is the only one that's halfway not boring me to death but he's just a walking cliche so I'm also conflicted about him. The dark, overprotective, super deep, guitar-playing older brother that Belly obviously crushes on. And he also thinks she's immature, that gets the party going. Like, so totally, because, like, so hot. Can you feel me rolling my eyes? I never understood why girls that age are so obsessed with dudes that think they're 12. I mean, she does act like she's twelve, so he has a point.

Rating:

☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

The problematic thing about this novel isn't only the title - which I thought was a metaphor, else I would have never bought this - but also the toxic, toxic vibe.
  • You can't have fun if you're not pretty.
  • You can't have friends if you're not pretty.
  • Also pretty much everything sucks unless you wake up one day to a pimple-free face, C-cups and straight teeth.
  • Oh, and if you don't drink, you're a kid and you should go play with your barbies.

Let me tell you something: The second you're old enough to legally be able to do all the exciting stuff that Belly is dreading to do, you're going to want to do it. It's only exciting because it's forbidden. There's a reason it's forbidden, too.

I don't even want to imagine how many teenagers read this, sighing to themselves why they aren't as pretty as Belly and couldn't land all the hotties that are all about her. Absolutely toxic.




Additional Info

Published: May 5th 2009
Pages: 276
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: YA / Romance

ISBN: 9781416968238

Synopsis:
"Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along."
(Source: Goodreads)



 Have you read The Summer I Turned Pretty?

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