I'm liking this. Enjoying the author's word play. Early on, I noticed a sprinkling of words that were used in ways I didn't think were strictly legit,...moreI'm liking this. Enjoying the author's word play. Early on, I noticed a sprinkling of words that were used in ways I didn't think were strictly legit, for example, "limn" as a noun. Being a nerdy word person, and also having become accustomed to the ease of using my Kindle's built-in dictionary, I looked up a few of them, just to see if I was right. I kept reading, and suddenly I realized I was engaging in exactly the behavior that started the word flu. Then the nonsense words began to appear, and I could see what Graedon was doing to me. Very enjoyable meta-reading experience.
I am not all that fond of the alternating boy/girl POV. It is used often in YA lit to keep a book from being overtly chick- or guy-lit. A couple of years ago, it was pretty fresh. Now it seems a little contrived. I found it confusing to pick out the two characters' voices from the group introduced in the beginning, especially since they go by different names. Anana/Ana/Alice/A is one voice, and Bart/Bartleby/Horace/Horse is the other. I was about a quarter of the way through before I figured it out. I read the galley from NetGalley, so I haven't seen the official print or Kindle version. I think it would help if the alternating voices were labeled somehow in the chapter heads, for those of us who are busy/distracted by our devices/easily confused. This would be a matter of book design.
Also, due to the dates, it seems clear that this is meant to be an alternate universe rather than a futuristic one. Or perhaps it is set just a year or two from now, when smart phones have gotten even smarter. I am willing to suspend disbelief either way.(less)
Much better than I expected. Good character development, yet still sort of a hi/lo book for struggling readers. Not just a "problem novel." Strong fem...moreMuch better than I expected. Good character development, yet still sort of a hi/lo book for struggling readers. Not just a "problem novel." Strong female characters and, dammit, kittens. I am grateful that Medina chose to write a book about urban teens without profanity, sex, or drugs and still have a believable tale. I wish other YA writers and publishers would get a clue about this. Many teens are offended by strong language. In fact, it has been a challenge to get my kids to read even this one because they don't want to be seen reading a book with the word "ass" in the title.
Even so, my high school is not immune to bullying. As a teacher, I felt challenged to be more vigilant for signs of bullying and to inquire more compassionately into causes of student failure. As a librarian I find myself hoping that someone will challenge this book because of its provocative title, and then the community would all have to read it, which they should--parents, teachers, administrators and students all. (less)
I thought this was going to be a modern-day fairy tale with a little light magic/suspension of disbelief. And at first it was. T...more"Listen, if you will."
I thought this was going to be a modern-day fairy tale with a little light magic/suspension of disbelief. And at first it was. The ghost of Jacob Grimm, green smoke coming out of the cozy bakery, the manic pixie dream girl and the shy boy, a lurking villain (the deputy, I thought), and a clinically depressed/out of the picture parent. I thought I knew what was what. Middle grade fantasy.
But then the book took a u-turn into a very dark, modern place and I found it really frightening, like Girl With the Dragon Tattoo or Silence of the Lambs scary. So now I'm a librarian with a book that I don't know who to give it to. I liked it. It seems too horrific for middle school but too juvenile for high school. Hmm.(less)
I was much more impressed that I thought I would be. Even Summitt's prose style, though probably helped along by her co-writer, is succinct and apt, a...moreI was much more impressed that I thought I would be. Even Summitt's prose style, though probably helped along by her co-writer, is succinct and apt, and I put down a much more literary book in order to read this one.
Pat Summitt's life is a great American story, log cabin and all. She pretty much made women's basketball what it is today, although she is generous in mentioning other pioneers. Since I'm just a few years younger than Pat, I was fascinated with her journey. There were no women's sports at my high school, and she was at UT Martin sewing her own numbers on a cheap jersey and bloomers and changing in a dingy basement. All of us were trying to figure out what it meant to be a woman in the 1970s and 80s, when the stereotype of the female athlete was those scary Eastern Bloc Olympians with mustaches.
I love that she took baby Tyler on the court with her. I love that she paid attention to her hair, makeup, clothes and jewelry. I love that she fought for equality and recognition and that she helped some amazing young women to be fierce and beautiful. I love her sense of humor and fearlessness. Pat Summitt helped redefine the American woman, and we should all thank her. And read her story.(less)