This was kind of an uneven effort. For a campy and fun superhero book, it was incredibly slow to start. Way too much description and background inform...moreThis was kind of an uneven effort. For a campy and fun superhero book, it was incredibly slow to start. Way too much description and background information, not really enough action to hook readers of this type of story. Somehow I was surprised that by part 4 of the book, everything that had occurred had supposedly taken place over only two weeks. Once it picked up though, I was interested in what was going to happen, but kind of just wanted to get through it.
There was also a bit of inconsistency in how the author referred to the characters. In one sentence, he'd use their sidekick names, and in the next their real life names. It became a little confusing, particularly with the secondary characters.(less)
The overall plot was interesting, and the effects of PTSD is a subject that we need more of in YA lit. The main character Haley kind of just brought t...moreThe overall plot was interesting, and the effects of PTSD is a subject that we need more of in YA lit. The main character Haley kind of just brought the book down from being one that I otherwise would have probably really enjoyed. She had reason to be detached and angry, however she never evolved enough to become likable. I didn't see the reason for the attraction Finn had for her, and her constant inner analysis of their sort of relationship became tedious.
However, I think the book is probably better than I think it is; so I gave it three stars instead of two. I know I've never really liked Laurie Halse Anderson's contemporary fiction, but that doesn't mean that there aren't others who would love this book, and I'd still recommend it to a variety of teens. I do wish she'd write more historical fiction... (less)
I have some mixed opinions about this book. The writing at times is wonderful; I actually found the "gay chorus" to be more interesting and poignant t...moreI have some mixed opinions about this book. The writing at times is wonderful; I actually found the "gay chorus" to be more interesting and poignant than the boys in the book.
I do think though that with the rare exception, this isn't a book that will attract many teens; it feels like it was written for adults, which is a shame because there isn't really anything else like this out there. There is so much to take away from this book, not only for gay teens who may be struggling or wondering about their future, but also in terms of relationships in general.
I think many may have a hard time really connecting or feeling invested in the characters (there wasn't quite enough background to create genuine connections)...I do wonder a bit if it was intentional, shifting the importance of the book away from the boys and more towards the wisdom of the gay chorus.
The right reader at the right time though will most likely enjoy and appreciate this one.(less)
Very enjoyable read. Elise had a lot of issues that many teens will be able to relate to...being the outcast, searching for your place, accepting your...moreVery enjoyable read. Elise had a lot of issues that many teens will be able to relate to...being the outcast, searching for your place, accepting yourself and learning to stand up for who you are... She's not perfect, but she grows over the course of the book. At times she was a bit self aware, but as it was pointed out, she's always been a bit precocious and I'm sure we all know teens like that. I also appreciated that everything wasn't solved by finding a boy who liked her.
My only complaints were that the bullying aspect felt a little didactic at times, and I had a hard time believing that her parents would be that clueless about her sneaking out. Things in the plot pertaining to the night club and being able to sneak out so easily were a bit too convenient; but really, the the club scene itself was fairly accurate and besides, story is more about Elise's inner journey than anything else.(less)
This was a really enjoyable read. It's so nice to read a "serious issue/problem" novel that doesn't....well, doesn't feel like one.
As a last resort, L...moreThis was a really enjoyable read. It's so nice to read a "serious issue/problem" novel that doesn't....well, doesn't feel like one.
As a last resort, Lida is sent to the Alice Marshall School in Idaho, a school located in of the largest protected wildlife areas in the country, the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area. There she, along with other girls work with varying levels of success through the issues in their lives, reconciling the consequences of their "Thing" that sent them there.
The "Things" take a back seat to the often tenuous relationships and truces that the girls form. The setting was one you don't often see in YA lit, the characters were all distinct and well developed. The book was a little slow at times and there was one plot point that was never really revealed (although not everything needs to be completely resolved and tidy), those are minor points, especially with the overall strong writing. Readers will genuinely start to care and want to know what will happen to these girls, especially in the last third as they anticipate the consequences of Lida's actions.
This should have wide appeal among girls who like outdoor stories, realistic fiction, and "issue" books.(less)