I believe that when I realized this was international ya, I let a few more things slide under my normal "that isn't how that would happen" radar, becaI believe that when I realized this was international ya, I let a few more things slide under my normal "that isn't how that would happen" radar, because having never been to Australia, I don't have a point of reference. LOL I didn't know off the bat that it took place in Australia, and I think that's a testament of some kind as to how "just your average intersex teen story", it was in the beginning. LOL
That said, I really ended Alex As Well, not completely knowing if I loved it or despised it for its "wtf-just-happened-ness".
Alex Stringfellow, just Alex, not Alexander or Alexandria, has been raised to be a boy. However, Alex believes this to have been a mistake, despite the fact that there is a "noodle" between her legs. Born intersex, with both ovaries and a small penis, Alex's parents decided that Alex would be brought up to embrace the masculine gender, and are none too pleased when Alex one day blurts out, "I am a girl", fourteen years later. The parents here are quite the idiots, and I did take note of how frustrating they were. It had been a while since I'd read a work of YA where the adults were so stereotypically one-sided, but here there were in all their glory.
As Alex decides to move forward with creating a life for herself as a "full-on-girl", her parents take the extremely low road of deciding just how frustrating the decision is for THEM, and have a series of hissy fits and tantrums where they range from the mild (leaving home for a few days to cool off), and the extreme (view spoiler)[(slipping Alex's abandoned male hormone treatments into her new vegitarian food) (hide spoiler)]. For every declaration that Alex makes, they retort with "You are hurting us" or some other self-centered action.
Alex was the most mature person in the home at many points in the book. She's taken full responsibility of her body, decides to stop taking her hormone treatments, enrolls herself into a new school (seriously, how was this okay?), and begins a new life as Alexandria Stringfellow. She has new friends, a boy who may just have a crush on her, and a girl whom she herself has a crush on. Things are muddled for her, as she struggles to define not only gender, but attraction and sexuality also, as they pertain to her. Much of the book includes her thoughts in her head between the girl Alex and the boy Alex, (hence the whole Alex As Well, thing), and it's told very matter-of-factly. Her age isn't mentioned until far into the book, so it was really evident then how beneficial it would have been for her to have the support of her parents or some other understanding adult to guide her.
Alex's mom Heather is the true character to hate here, as she plays victim throughout, and takes Alex's decision to embrace her female gender as a personal attack. She lists out her frustrations on a mom message board where the hive mind of the internet is actually a great Greek Chorus to the story. They provide her with some ridiculous support, but also some very strong commentary on what Alex may need from her. I enjoyed those cringe-worthy scenes the most I believe, and want to hug Vic, a great Alex Advocate from the boards.
Alex As Well is not a typical title that I'd recommend to every teen, and in fact it could actually be a more interesting title for an adult book club instead. However, for the right teen, who is fascinated with stories that dip into individually, gender expression and sexual identity, with a bit of international appeal, it's just the thing....more
I never had to deal with the idea of moving to college and living with a stranger. When I went away to school, I roomed with one of my best friends froI never had to deal with the idea of moving to college and living with a stranger. When I went away to school, I roomed with one of my best friends from home. Years of sleepovers and shared lockers ensured that we each already knew how the other person lived and what their habits were. We didn't have to become friends, because we already were. I always wondered what it was like for those who did have to get that letter in the mail with their potential new best friend or loathed enemy's name on it.
Roomies examines that story. What it's like to take two young women from opposite sides of the country, and create a friendship that will form the foundation for their first years away at school.
At first glance, Roomies seemed like a traditional "Odd Couple" scenario, where the perfect is forced to share a room with the slob, but it quickly proved itself to be so much more. EB, the high-spirited Jersey girl receives her room assignment from Berkley and decides that it would be smart to reach out to her potential new roommate Lauren. Being an only child, and moving clear across the country for school, it seems like a good idea and will help get all the weirdness out of the way. When Lauren, oldest of a baseball team of siblings receives her letter, she's quite disappointed. She'd wanted a single. And who was this over-eager roommate anyway, and why was she so excruciatingly friendly?
Through back and forth emails, EB and Lauren share their final summer at home with an openness that only seems to come from the safety of being behind computer screens. As they both change and grow, they find comfort in being able to write honest thoughts that they no longer can share with friends at home, or parents who they're each growing independent from.
So much is packed in this summer, that it's almost hard to believe they'll have much to get into when they finally start school, but those who've been there know that this is only the beginning.
This was a real and refreshing read that made me think a lot about my final summer before college. The feeling of being somewhere between ecstatic and terrified, compounded by the friends and lovers possibly being left behind are all emotional journeys that dictate how we handle being away. This is a nice title for anyone looking to build on the "new adult" genre, but fits snugly in any YA collection. I listened to the audio, and EB's voice was a little annoying for a while, but not unbearable. ...more
I didn't dislike it, but if you were looking for something shocking that you never knew about Tobias Eaton...this isn't where you'll find it. Most ofI didn't dislike it, but if you were looking for something shocking that you never knew about Tobias Eaton...this isn't where you'll find it. Most of these little gems about Tobias becoming Four, were alluded to or flat-out described in the main Divergent books. This was more of an appeal to those fans who have a difficult time with a series coming to a close, and wanting just one more bite, no matter how small. Thanks Veronica Roth, for a very Rowling-esque treat for the fans! ...more
Very cute story of a young girl who becomes a magical princess every night at bedtime. This little princess does more than dance and dress up, though.Very cute story of a young girl who becomes a magical princess every night at bedtime. This little princess does more than dance and dress up, though. She spends her nights defending the castle from ferocious dragons! Only to invite them for tea to get to the bottom of why they're so cranky. She protects the kingdom from fires, plays leapfrog with the queen, and even invites terrifying trolls to the ball because she knows they're really great dancers. She does meet a prince at the ball who is very cute, and she even thinks maybe in the future they may live happily ever after, but for the most part, she's too busy for all that right now!
This is a good one for those who want to share princesses who don't need saving, to their little girls....more
Paige Turner's parents are writers. As her name would suggest. Trying to grow into that name, to become the artist they seem to have destined her to bPaige Turner's parents are writers. As her name would suggest. Trying to grow into that name, to become the artist they seem to have destined her to be, has been hard this year as she adjusts to their new life in the big city of New York. She misses her best friend Diana, her artist grandmother, her quiet town in Virginia, and most of all she misses drawing. A brand new sketchbook, helps her refocus all those seemingly lost loves.
A beautiful story emerges as Paige begins to sketch out her emotions and thoughts on starting a new school, adjusting to city life, relating to her parents and finding friendship. Laura Gulledge's artwork is spot-on and gentle. There are times where a reader could spend more time really inspecting the images rather than the words. Paige's descriptions of herself as someone who "lives in their own head" was something I could really relate to and it was described beautifully in the words as well as the drawings.
Fans of the graphic novel American Born Chinese would benefit from seeing this female coming-of-age perspective....more
If I don't know WHO I am, I cannot allow the rest of the world to decide WHAT I am. Astrid Jones and her family are transplants to Unity Valley; a perIf I don't know WHO I am, I cannot allow the rest of the world to decide WHAT I am. Astrid Jones and her family are transplants to Unity Valley; a perfect northeastern town full of perfect people. Living with perfect people makes it extremely hard to accept the fact that her newest love interest is a girl.
I'm reminded of how perfect my love for A.S. King is through this amazing story.
Love is dangerous. No, not dangerous. Love is the root of every horrible thing we do. War, crime, insanity, all of it is stemmed from passion and love.Love is dangerous. No, not dangerous. Love is the root of every horrible thing we do. War, crime, insanity, all of it is stemmed from passion and love. In the coming future, this fact will be proven by science, and love will be declared a case of deliria nervosa. To save the world, scientists will develop a cure. They will remove the ability to love, from each and every person over the age of 18. They will evaluate your goals and thoughts, pair you with a similar person, of the opposite sex of course, tell you how many children you are responsible for creating together, and send you on your way. No more flirting. No more passion. No more waiting for it to happen. No more heartbreak.
Magdalena Haloway is fastly approaching the age of 18 and wants nothing more than to be cured. Her mother was given the surgery a total of three times, but none of them took. After kissing a six year old Lena goodbye and telling her "I love you...they can't take that away", she committed suicide. Lena has lived with her cured aunt and uncle in their home ever since. Lena doesn't want the disease to ever lead her to the same fate. It's hereditary, they say.
And then the unthinkable happens. First, her best friend Hana seems to be hiding a secret. Listening to unregulated music, and talking about boys even though she knows that the segregation laws between uncured boys and girls are finite. And then, in a chance encounter, Lena meets Alex, a boy who just wants to get to know her. Suddenly everything about what she's been taught, what she believes, and even who she is, blurs into an unrecognizable state.
The premise of this book is what hit me faster than the actual characters did. As dystopias go, it's very easy to see where the story is about to head, even before the author lets on. This was the case here as well. Parts of that dystopic formula just can't be done away with. But there was something about the idea that love is dangerous. Something about the a world where religion and science merge together to control the uncontrollable. Something about pushing the limits and exploring how far we really would go for the right to LOVE, was just fascinating.
Lena's story itself wasn't much different from a Katniss Everdeen, or a Tally Youngblood, at least on the surface. Alex, Hana, and the rest of the family aren't much to focus on either. The love that Lena realizes she has for them however, is the real character to watch. The way we fall in love, the way we recognize love, the yearning we feel for love we feel we've lost, are all described beautifully.
I warn you to have Kleenex handy for the ending, and patience with the cliche formula so that you can reach it....more
The Hunger Games is a dystopia set in a future where the United States are no longer states but 13 "districts". At least there used to be 13. The CapiThe Hunger Games is a dystopia set in a future where the United States are no longer states but 13 "districts". At least there used to be 13. The Capital destroyed District 13 basically for insubordinance. Now, to remind the remaining 12 of its power, the Capitol requires each district to offer up two "tributes" in the annual hunger games through a raffle. The tributes are one boy and one girl adolescent. The games are a fight to the death where only one tribute can remain standing. There is a TON that goes into what these games are actually about and far more than I can get into here, but know that the basis of THIS particular book is a girl named Katnis Everdeen, whose little sister Prim is chosen. Katnis steps in on her sister's behalf and becomes the District 12 tribute.
There's a love triangle between Katnis, Peeta the male District 12 tribute, and Gale, her love interest pre-hunger games. There's INTENSE death fights. Courage, bravery, and all around awesome. I did the audiobooks and LOVED them, but everyone who read the print version loves it to....more
First of all, this was NOT a love story. At least not as intensely as the blurb might lead you to believe. This was, however, a pretty good mystery.
TFirst of all, this was NOT a love story. At least not as intensely as the blurb might lead you to believe. This was, however, a pretty good mystery.
The book begins interestingly enough, with 17 year old Amy being cryogenically frozen along with her parents so that they can be passengers on the Godspeed, a spaceship that will take them and a couple thousand others to a new Earth. Centauri Earth is 300 years away, and before Amy can finish deciding if it will be worth it, she's already being sealed in the box.
Some hundreds of years later, we find ourselves in the head of Elder, a young man being trained to one day lead the Godspeed. Elder is quick, young, and spontaneous, much to the dismay of Eldest, the current ship leaders who is training him. Eldest wants Elder to learn of the things that ruined what they call Sol-Earth. The people of Godspeed are peaceful, similar and each dedicated to their personal stations in life. Each of them follows Eldest faithfully, and it is his job to prepare Elder to take the reins when the time comes.
Meanwhile, in the dark, dank, unknown of the ship, Amy has been woken up. Well, more appropriately, unthawed and left to die. 50 years before schedule.
From there, we start to stumble down a rabbit hole that leads to truth of the Godspeed; that the entire ship is built on lies. In a race to save the other "frozens", including Amy's parents, Amy and Elder embark on an investigation that reveals more about humanity than anything about the ship itself. And there is a LOT going on with this ship.
The use of the alternating character chapters is a tool that many authors jack up, royally. Beth Revis was no exception for at least the first half of the book, I'll admit. There were times when I got a little irritated with the switches but as it progressed, I was into the pattern and found it helpful for really allowing us to see the differences in thought between someone who has lived their entire life on the Godspeed, and someone who has seen lakes and trees.
While I did think it moved a bit slowly, the story itself was so intriguing that after a while I just didn't notice anymore. Amy's American-teen-esque tantrums and rants worked my nerves at times, as did Edler's immaturity, but both characters grew and developed in ways that made me calm down a bit. And while I pinpointed the culprit quite early in the story, I have to say that the way the author led us to the reveal was in a perfect moment of tension and action.
I found book two to be much better, but I still say this one was pretty darn good....more