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Giraffe People

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Praise for Jill Malone's fiction: "A wonderfully impressive writing debut."—Sarah Waters "An absolutely gripping and beautifully written story." — "Beautiful, essential reading." —

Cole Peter thought life couldn't get any worse. Trapped between God and the Army, the teenage daughter of the chaplain school dean at Fort Monmouth discovers a whole n
Paperback, 272 pages
Published December 11th 2012 by Bywater Books (first published January 10th 2012)
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Giraffe People by Jill Malone is a young adult book that is so beautiful, I often found myself putting it down to savour the writing style. It so perfectly captures the experience of growing up as a teenaged girl in the 90s that I sometimes felt like I was pulled back into my adolescence.

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Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are some books that you read on a crawl because you immediately fall in love with the characters and don’t want to lose them. Giraffe People is one of those books for me.

Cole is a regular high school girl with nothing dramatic or tragic happening, popular and busy with sports and a band but also clumsy enough in personality that she’s endearing to everyone. She and most of her schoolmates live on a military base and are specifically the children of chaplains which adds a depth to their go
Allison Hawn
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Jill Malone's "Giraffe People" paints a vivid and unique picture of the classic coming of age story. Set in the life of a military preacher's kid, Malone manages to create a soul in her character of Cole who is both so genuinely a teenager in her speech and actions, but also feels like a sage in her realizations. Readers feel a connection to Cole as she deals with relationships, the pressures of school, struggles with religion, family relations and becoming her own unique person. Malone also doe ...more
Cindy Stein
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, lesfic-ya
Cole is the 15 year old daughter of an Army chaplain. During the course of this book, her family is stationed in New Jersey, but it is clear that they have moved around quite a bit and won't be in NJ much longer. The book zeros in on Cole's life during one year of high school when she is focused on school, friends, athletics, music and figuring out who she is and who she wants to be with.

The book is not pure lesfic. I wouldn't even call it a coming out YA novel. It has a more bisexual feel to i
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How did I find this jewel of a book? This was wonderful. I'm amazed at how she captured the 7000 things every high achieving kid is weighing at any given time. This book is reverent of its subject matter, which is a young woman becoming aware and becoming human. This book does not make fun, and doesn't shy from a very rarely well-told truth. Astoundingly high quality. ...more
Brice Fuqua
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lesbian teen growing up on an army base during the 1st Gulf War. Well done but predictable coming out story.
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Luminescent" writing. Nicole Peters would like that word. Booklist also called this novel "finely tuned, daring, and perceptive."
Cole Peters defines words using gut feelings instead of a dictionary. Fifteen, trapped in a family whose life is punctuated by dashes from one military base to another, further enclosed by being a chaplain's kid, a subset within a subset, she calls it, making her feel doubly weird. No just a military brat, but a preacher's kid, those two facts encircle her life like
Jan 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Don’t expect a plot summary of Giraffe People because the novel is more of a character study of a 15-year-old girl the year before she starts high school.

Cole (Nicole) is a military brat on the verge of becoming a young woman. She lives on the Fort Monmouth (New Jersey) army base with her military chaplain dad, her mother, and two brothers. She calls her family “giraffe people” because dad and the kids are long-legged with narrow chests and flat feet.

Cole is about as normal as she can possibly
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I found out about Jill Malone's Giraffe People from Gay City Health in Seattle, which has a Meet the Author series. Malone lives in Spokane and drove out to the city to regale an intimate audience with stories of her youth and her family's sometime plight as relations of an Army chaplain.

In Cole Peters, Malone's protagonist, we find a piece of ourselves or our former selves: confused, searching, clutching to the familiar, losing ourselves to music and fleeting romances. Cole is a high school jo
Kris Dinnison
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
15 year-old Cole is the daughter of an army chaplain coming of age during the first gulf war. She is an athlete, a musician, and a young woman exploring what life has to offer. The book is organized around the vocabulary words Cole's tutor has given her, and the device works beautifully. Malone never attempts to define Cole's sexuality or simplify her journey, and that is what makes this book so powerful. This book is about that, but also about so much more, just as human beings are sexual being ...more
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Jill Malone has done it again!! Written a wonderful novel that makes you think and feel, and though it's about a teenage girl, it still feels very real to me, who's got teenage years far, far behind me.
Waiting for the next one!!!
Sally Bellerose
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Go Jill Malone. Why did I wait so long to read her third, and possibly, best novel. Maybe I was frightened to be plunged back into the high school world. But Malone's great language and heart take the reader and the characters into the scary world of adolescence then lift us up. ...more
Sixteen year old Cole is an army brat traveling every few years and finds love of self in Jersey. Didn't enjoy narrative. Thought characters were not developed enough. ...more
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, lgbtq, gay
An original and beautiful voice. Featured on 2014's ALA Rainbow List. ...more
Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Another beautifully written book from Jill Malone. I love her characters.
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Jill Malone grew up in a military family, went to German kindergarten, and lived across from a bakery where they put small toys, like train engines, into chocolate, and the gummi bears were the size of mice. In the South, she caught tree frogs, and played kickball. She has lived on the East Coast, and in Hawaii, and for the last fifteen years in Spokane with her son, two old dogs, and a lot of out ...more

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