Things I did while reading IT'S NOT ME, IT'S YOU: made a second lunch so I could justify reading a little longer. Pretended to be folding laundry, wheThings I did while reading IT'S NOT ME, IT'S YOU: made a second lunch so I could justify reading a little longer. Pretended to be folding laundry, when I was really reading. Brought it with me to a doctor's appointment, and then, because I had it with me, read it in the car, and get honked at because I didn't see the light had turned green.
Mostly I had a big goofy smile on my face the whole time I was reading.
Oh boy, did I ever love this book. It was pitched to me as CLUELESS meets HIGH FIDELITY, and if that pitch makes you think, "What? GIMME!" then this is the book for you.
I love the characters, all of them, and I love how even though the dialog of the book takes place over a few days, they all grow and change, in a completely realistic way. I love the oral-history-class-assignment format, which would be a gimmick in lesser hands, but Strohm makes it an integral and necessary part of the story.
Most of all I loved the humor. I honestly, truly, laughed out loud about 90 times. The voice and humor are perfection.
Here is a transcript of how I booktalked this book to my 12-year-old: Oh my gosh, you have to read this book. You are going to love it. I love it so much. It's so funny! Oh my gosh, it's so funny. It's about this girl who gets dumped a few days before prom, and she's never been dumped before, and she wants to analyze all her past relationships [12-year-old, a boy who mainly reads books with dragons in them, raises eyebrow] and no wait, listen. So her history assignment is to do an oral history, to interview someone who was at--[12-year-old rolls eyes, says, "I know what an oral history is"] so she decides that she herself is history and she'll interview her past boyfriends. Look, the whole thing is set up as her oral history assignment [show book to 12-year-old, he nods curtly, but doesn't leave the room]. I need to emphasize how funny this book is. And it delves deeply into the social fabric of school life [he picks up the book, this is one of his interests]. Oh, also, there's D&D in it [12-year-old grabs book -- "What? Really?"]. Oh yeah. And Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan. Look, they make up a funny game called Settlers of Ca-Tots, where the only resource is tater tots. [12-year-old reads that page, says, "This is true what it says about tiefling bards"] See? It's a perfect book. And it's so funny. You're going to love it. You're going to looooooove it. Read it. Here. [12-year-old takes book, says "don't tell me what to do," starts reading.]
I think I'm still trying to find a way to be articulate about why, exactly, this book rocks, but I keep coming back to the humor. It is not easy to make the reader for real laugh aloud, and this book does that all the time, and that's amazing. Read it. It's so great....more
At various times during KILL THE BOY BAND, I was: in love, engaged, unable to look away, cringing (because the writing was so good, not the opposite),At various times during KILL THE BOY BAND, I was: in love, engaged, unable to look away, cringing (because the writing was so good, not the opposite), sighing, worrying, and smiling.
I suppose these are roughly the same things I do when I watch a boy band.
I'm not much of a boy band afficionado (this is an understatement), but I do have a deep deep love for realistic characters and terrific plotting, and KILL THE BOY BAND delivers on all fronts. These are realistic characters in a situation that's so unreal that it somehow becomes real, if that makes sense, and every new twist is surprising, and makes sense, even though it's amazing and ridiculous.
I love the set-up of Part 1 contrasted with the rollicking ride of Part 2. This book is super easy to booktalk too: Me: I read a book called KILL THE BOY BAND. It was great. Kid 1: Was it about people who hate boy bands? Me: No, it was about fans who love boy bands. One boy band in particular, called the Ruperts. Because they're all named Rupert. Kid 2: That's funny. Me: One of the Ruperts can't sing, but he can juggle. So sometimes songs have a juggling solo. Another Rupert has a "disability" where he can't tell time. So they sell a special Rupert-branded watch that tells you what time it is out loud when you say, "What time is it?" Kid 1: That sounds funny. Why's it called "Kill the Boy Band." Me: You'll have to read it to find out.
(Do note that I am pretty liberal with letting my kids read books with swears in them. There are swears in this book, but they all were completely and totally realistic to the way kids talk.)
I had heard a ton of buzz for this book, and it did not disappoint. Super great. It's unlike anything I've read before, and I just really loved the characters, plot, writing, humor, intensity, and the boy band....more
I have major book hangover from this one. I have been dreamily staring into space all day, thinking about all the residents of Clover City, Texas. OhI have major book hangover from this one. I have been dreamily staring into space all day, thinking about all the residents of Clover City, Texas. Oh boy, did I love being a part of Willowdean's life for a while. So great....more
This book had me from page one. A complete masterpiece, with brilliant themes, amazingly layered writing, and characters who grab onto your heart andThis book had me from page one. A complete masterpiece, with brilliant themes, amazingly layered writing, and characters who grab onto your heart and won't let go. I had high hopes for this book, and any hopes I had were far surpassed within the first ten pages. I knew it was going to be good, but I didn't know just how good. It's INCREDIBLE....more
Oh, WOW. This book crept up on me slowly. I'll admit I wasn't that into it at first (what's wrong with me?). But by the end I was stealing moments eveOh, WOW. This book crept up on me slowly. I'll admit I wasn't that into it at first (what's wrong with me?). But by the end I was stealing moments everywhere to finish reading it. Gabi is such a lovable, charming, real character, and the circumstances of her life are gritty and difficult but also very real. I'm sure there are teenagers who will feel like this book is speaking to them like no other book ever has.
You know how, often, what is interesting about dystopian books is the relatable relationships of the characters, and how people are still people despiYou know how, often, what is interesting about dystopian books is the relatable relationships of the characters, and how people are still people despite this new and terrible government regime under which they now live? Or, at least, that's what I find interesting. But the other thing about dystopian books is that they're depressing. To me.
So this is the long lead-up to explain why I loved GIRL ON A WIRE so much. It presented a new and different and interesting culture (circus life), but the relationships between the characters were so relatable. I also love how strong the main character is. There's a moment where she's wondering what a boy thinks of her, and then stops herself, and realizes she needs to first figure out what SHE thinks of HIM. Such a great moment.
But the best part of this book, by far, was the way Gwenda Bond wrote the high wire and acrobatic scenes. They are amazing. They pull you in so far, so it's you, right there, walking on the wire, watching the trapeze act. This book is great for so many reasons, but I highly recommend it so you can have a vision of yourself, on a wire stretched tight between two buildings, letting the wind swirl around you as you walk the empty space high up in the air....more
This book is absolute perfection. Thought-provoking, perfectly plotted, amazing characterization, and pulls off multiple POVs in such a wondrous way IThis book is absolute perfection. Thought-provoking, perfectly plotted, amazing characterization, and pulls off multiple POVs in such a wondrous way I want to go back and highlight and reread the whole thing just to figure out how it's done. My favorite read of 2015 so far....more