I'd advise reading the Author's Note at the end for context for why she wrote Amanda the way she did.
This book has it's ups and downs, emotionally andI'd advise reading the Author's Note at the end for context for why she wrote Amanda the way she did.
This book has it's ups and downs, emotionally and in the storytelling. I haven't been through what Amanda's been through and I haven't read a lot of stories from the perspective of trans people. There are still some parts that felt universal -- falling in love for the first time, trying to fit in at a new school -- but are definitely different from anything I've experienced because of the secrets that she's keeping.
If you've been following me for long, you know I love it when the parents and other family are included in the story. It definitely added more to the story that both her parents were involved, both in present and flashbacks. Even though her mom had her snarky moments, she did seem like she had the perfect response to things.
BEE. Oh, Bee. She had some good lines, but then some lines that felt like a handbook on how to talk about and to a trans person. She isn't a robot or a perfect character by any means, but it was definitely a weird scene. She has other weird scenes, but they're spoilery.
This book does involve two characters who have been sexually assaulted. Amanda's assault in the mall bathroom was one of those things where it was done in flashbacks and it took me a while to get that she had been assaulted, not just beat up. Bee doesn't recount hers as much as says who it was and the guilt that she didn't report it.
The way things "resolved" after the dance was rather odd. It was almost as though the ~problem kids~ just disappeared or whatever. Hmmm. I did enjoy the conversations Amanda has with her dad. And I'm glad she had a solid group of girl friends. (And yes, it passes the Bechdel test)
I do feel like there were more micro-dramas than an overall arc with a big conflict and resolution. It's almost like the reader waiting anxiously for someone to spill Amanda's secret is supposed to be the climax? I'm not sure. I'm definitely open to discuss anything I've written in this review. It just didn't feel like there was anything big to be resolved. There was her dad coming to terms, whether or not to tell her friends and love interest, and hoping the jerks on the football team didn't find out. Especially Parker. ...more
(Heads up: Probably not a good idea to read this review before you've read The Summer I Turned Pretty as this is Book 2 in the Summer series. Cheers!)(Heads up: Probably not a good idea to read this review before you've read The Summer I Turned Pretty as this is Book 2 in the Summer series. Cheers!)
I was warned that I would cry, but MAN I was not expecting that.
It's very apparent in this book that the relationship between Belly and Conrad is not a healthy one. It's mentioned at least 3 times that she would come running if he called her. Add the fact that Susannah's passed away and it adds another layer of sadness and darkness. They're both heartbroken over her death and over the fact that they can't quite seem to be in a good relationship.
I haven't reviewed the first book as I write this post, BUT I really love the friendship between Susannah and Laurel (the moms) and how Laurel steps in at the end of this book. BEACH HOUSE 5 EVER, PLZ.
That prom scene broke my heart. And the scene when Belly and Jeremiah show up at the beach house. And anytime Belly ran to the beach/water and sat in the sand.
I feel like it's super important to keep in mind that Belly is a teenage girl and she is dealing with her long-standing crush/love. She's dealing with feelings and emotions. She's dealing with grief, too. She's dealing with who she thinks her mom is.
Although super heartbreaking, I loved the theme of being supportive of people through trying times. I'm not saying that Belly needed to stick around Conrad as he was going through some terrible stuff and was treating her in a way that was not healthy for either of them. I think Jeremiah made a good point of, "You didn't come to see me. I only got a few texts." These people are family and he needed her just as much as she needed someone, too.
Also, Jeremiah needed to chill on the, "But I'm the nice guy!" bit. Chill. Out. You know she's loved your brother since she was 10, I think. He doesn't go overboard with it, but he does make his feelings very clear with her, which I appreciated. Even though she was very confused about her feelings for these two boys.
Overall, loving this trilogy so far. Definitely recommend for people who love Contemporary YA that is somewhat cute, somewhat ALL THE FREAKING EMOTIONS, family, and a bit of grieving. ...more
I loved her writing in Someday, Someday Maybe. I love it here, too. She talks about how she started acting and everything that lead to the oSO. GOOD.
I loved her writing in Someday, Someday Maybe. I love it here, too. She talks about how she started acting and everything that lead to the original run of Gilmore Girls as well as what lead up to the Netflix revival. Oh, and her reaction to the final four words! I won't spoil anything, but if you haven't watched the revival, don't read that chapter until you do. Also, I read this as audio and followed along with the book because there are some pictures she references to. She also talks about her writing process and about being single for so long (before she started dating Peter).
Side note: I can't not cry now when she says, "I smell snow." Anyone else?!
Also, I love her love of her cast mates. I didn't know she and Kelly were so close, so it was nice to hear that they formed a family bond. She also binged the original run of the show so that she could remember things that were going on in her personal life at the time and also fashion and hair.
I just really loved this book and her narration. I can't wait for her future writings, both on screen and in book form....more