Vienna X's Reviews > Big Mouth and Ugly Girl

Big Mouth and Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates
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's review
Aug 03, 10

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read from July 27 to August 03, 2010

A good YA book that focuses on one main event: a boy being accused of threatening to bomb his high school. From that, we follow Big Mouth and Ugly Girl's surprising relationship that sprouts from this disturbing scene and how it effects families and other members of the community.

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message 1: by Nathanimal (new)

Nathanimal Who, exactly, qualifies as a YA?

Vienna X Ah, the eternal question! I've been asking myself this for many years now. Do all books with young protagonists count as YA? And if not, then how do you determine which ones fall into which category? Is it all about the subject matter and the level of the prose? I've come to the conclusion that MOST adults simply don't enjoy reading about kids as much as kids do. So if you're into books with kids/teens in them (like I am) but also have an appreciation for good literature (which is subjective, obviously, but I'm saying books like Twilight fall out of the good lit category where as books like Catcher In the Rye are in), then I think most of the time, the book is marketed for younger audiences with the hope that it will succeed as a "crossover" novel. This means a new cover and new hype for adult readers. Not to say adults haven't been reading books with kids in them or books aimed at kids (Harry Potter, the His Dark Materials series, etc.) all along, but publishers seem to like to compartmentalize and fit titles into specific genres that they can sell. It drives me nuts, though. If I was a teen, I'd be offended by what publishers THINK I want. Have you ever browsed the YA section of a bookstore? The covers are all SUPER cheesy and the titles seem to all be just one word like "Taken" or "Fallen." It's a crying shame.

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