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Not Otherwise Specified

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  1,616 ratings  ·  349 reviews
Etta is tired of dealing with all of the labels and categories that seem so important to everyone else in her small Nebraska hometown.

Everywhere she turns, someone feels she's too fringe for the fringe. Not gay enough for the Dykes, her ex-clique, thanks to a recent relationship with a boy; not tiny and white enough for ballet, her first passion; and not sick enough to loo
ebook, 304 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by Simon Pulse
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,616 ratings  ·  349 reviews

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Emma Giordano
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK. For years, I have been saying I want a book about a girl in eating disorder recovery who is in the process of regaining her relationship with food and has gained weight back as a result, while ALSO still struggling & having trouble not wishing for the past behaviors to return.

Welp, I found it. And it was everything I wanted it to be.

I'm so thankful that this book exists. I can't tell you how wonderful it is for me to say "This book relates to how I currently feel,"
May 07, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
You know all those snarky narrators? Etta is the opposite. She's pretty much Robyn.

Appropriately, the playlist:

Cry When You Get Older -- Robyn
Ships in the Night -- Mat Kearney
We Dance to the Beat -- Robyn
Beverly Hills -- Weezer
I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous -- Frank Turner
Read My Mind (Like Rebel Diamonds mix) -- The Killers
Mean -- Taylor Swift
Dancing On My Own--Robyn
At The Ballet -- A Chorus Line, new cast recording
At The Ballet -- A Chorus Line, original broadway recording
White Horse --
Mar 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
HOLY fuck. i mean, props for a black bisexual protagonist, that's iconic. but the lesbophobia in this book was so.....what the fuck. you mean to tell me every lesbian in the school is in a clique called the "Dykes" who would basically subject their former friend to psychological torture for dating a man?

are you fucking kidding me? fuck you.
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bekka by: Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
Shelves: lgbt, 2015-favorites

Please tell me there will be a sequel.


This book. This book is pretty much the closest thing I’ve found to the perfect contemporary. It is the contemporary of my dreams. The contemporary we all deserve. I’ve been waiting so long to find a bisexual protagonist, it’s unbelievable. I mean, there have been a few (Love in the Time of Global Warming comes to mind immediately) but none have really addressed what it’s like to be bisexual in a contemporary society full of people on both ends o
Kat Kennedy
Not Otherwise Specified is the story of Ella, a girl struggling with all the labels in her life. Bi, eating disorder, dancing, black, etc.

Not Otherwise Specified was a breathless read. In that, no really, I felt breathless a lot of the time. The Narration was like an unending stream of consciousness funnelling you right into Ella's every uncensored thought.

You'll find all the hallmarks of a great Moskowitz novel here. Thorough characterisation, relationship heavy, stunning writing, heartbreak.

Oh man, the VOICE. In books where the voice is this strong, whether you enjoy the character whose head you're in or not is everything, and I loved hanging out with Etta. I loved her humor and her strength and her honesty and her pride and her journey. I loved that she tried to succeed and was willing to fail. There's no area of her life in which she's unilaterally one thing; even when it comes to something like letting other people dictate who she is, she both does and doesn't. She's so fabulous ...more
Cristina Patón
Apr 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
I can't say I'm not used to lesbians being villified in fiction. I just want to warn any young lesbians to stay away from this book, as it has really upsetting, lesbophobic content.
The author should be more careful as to what kind of message she is sending writing this kind of stuff. There's nothing progressive about pitting lesbians and bisexual women against each other.
Tyler J Gray
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, those looking to read diverse books
Re-read in June of 2019

I was scared to re-read this. What if it didn't hold up? I had just gotten into reading after years of basically not reading when I read it the first time and it was the first time I ever saw a bisexual character. I was nearly 27...and I've known i'm bi since I was 13. So of course it ment so much to me. 3 1/2 years later, I finally did it. I re-read it.

And I should not have been scared. This book is awesome! It still made me cry. I added MORE tabs (which is quite a feat!)
Apr 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
sure, i like having a bisexual poc protagonist, but all of that becomes meaningless once you have a book where the lesbian characters are written in such a hateful way. the author must have an issue with lesbians. i dont know how else to interpret this.

so. dont read this unless you love seeing bisexual and lesbian women fighting and hating each other. not recommended.
Lilian Halcombe
Mar 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
The author appears to hate lesbians with a real passion.
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
A copy of this novel was provided by Simon & Schuster for review via Edelweiss.

Not Otherwise Specified manages to tackle a lot of important and real issues without being an “issue book”, which is so important. I’m pretty much going to talk about the main themes that stood out to me when reading Not Otherwise Specified, because that’s how I roll.

1. Etta is bisexual, and open about it. She’s not hiding it from anyone, she’s open about ogling pretty boys and pretty girls alike. And I LOVED this. Bu
Debbie Narh
I'm in love with Hannah Moskowitz. I love her writing, her characters, the way that I feel like I personally know her solely from reading her books. I feel like she puts a lot of herself into her stories. Not Otherwise Specified isn't... a bad book by any means. But it is a what the fuck just happened ? kind of book. From the setting to the dialogue, all the way to the fucking cover I just...

I don't think I ever encountered a book by an author I loved that has had info-dumping, but Not Otherwise
content/trigger warnings; ableism, eating disorders, biphobia, lesbophobia, d slur, slut shaming, alcohol consumption, bullying, harassment,

rep; etta (mc) is black, bisexual, and has ednos. rachel (sc) is japanese and a lesbian. natasha (sc) is a lesbian. biance (sc) has an eating disorder. james (sc) is gay.

This book pissed me off. Everything about it. The biphobia and misconceptions about bisexuality. The lesbophobia. The only lesbians in the books being the actual worst people ever and being
Stuti Rai
May 08, 2013 rated it liked it

Etta is a mess of a person and it pointedly comes across in her narration, with trademark Moskowitz rambling sentences of paragraphs, and boy did I enjoy it.

On top of that, you have Etta herself with a crazy, maybe stolen, personality. A BIG personality. She's the kind of bouncy, excited person with whom you actually understand what a big personality means besides the obvious euphemisms.

Etta's orientation is bisexual and she used to be a part of the Disco Dykes at an all girls' private schoo
"Bisexual, Rachel. I'm bisexual. It's a fucking WORD."

Am I biased in judging this book because it has an actual Bi main character? Absolutely. But that knowledge doesn't make me love it any less. I raced through it in a day (despite being at work for most of that) and I wish I could spend more time in this story, with these people.
I think, reading this book, you're either gonna love Etta and her fierce, non-stop, messy stream-of-consciousness narration or hate it, and it's pretty obvious where
Ahhh, NOT OTHERWISE SPECIFIED, I don't know how long I've been waiting for a book like you. And you definitely delivered.

Etta is seventeen and lives in Nebraska. She's bisexual. She's black. She has an eating disorder, but she's not thin enough to be diagnosed with one properly. So it's just "eating disorder not otherwise specified". She used to do ballet, but not anymore. When she dates a guy for the first time, all her lesbian friends abandon her. When she breaks up with him, her friends still
Shaun Hutchinson
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As usual, Hannah kills it. This is the first book of hers I've read with a female narrator, and I have to say that I adored Etta. She was awesome all around. This book hits so many different topics—queerness (Etta is bi), race, eating disorders—but, in my opinion, the most important topic it explores is learning to accept yourself for who you are and follow you're own path.

I would read anything Hannah wrote.
Jun 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
If you're looking for a diverse book, look no further. Not Otherwise Specified is the picture of diversity, including a black bisexual main character, gay side characters, an asian, lesbian former best friend, religious side characters, and eating disorders.

Etta, our main character, feels like she doesn't really belong anywhere. Due to a recent relationship with a boy, her former group of lesbian friends has cast her out. She once was bulimic, but is well on the way to recovery, in contrast to
Aurora Dimitre
What I love the most about Hannah Moskowitz books is that they make me feel . And I'm not talking wincing when something bad happens, I'm talking, the book ends and my heart feels like it's not there, like there's just a cavity in my chest and I can't breathe and even if there's a happy ending just the mix of the absolute glory that is the writing and the absolute reality that encompasses the characters that just - makes me feel .

I didn't honestly know if I'd be able to write a review for this
Alexandra Tiller
Mar 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
Someone hates lesbians, wow
♫✯Em loves Hollenstein✯♫❤the summertime and butterflies all belong to your creation❤
reaction after reading:
Eh. Nothing special
Mason was just there for Etta to have sex with, James was cool, Etta was annoying as fuck, Bianca was sad.
Rachel and Ettas relationship was fucking weird. They were best friends who Etta was sort of in love with they had sex tons, then fell out, became friends again and then Etta goes all 'who cares that I have feelings for her and we've been friends since forever, I'm leaving her behind, fuck this'
In fact, 'fuck this' is pretty much Ettas whole attitud
Frederique Courard-Hauri
Mar 20, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2015
I really wanted to like this book. There aren't many YA novels that deal with bisexuality or the misunderstanding of bisexuality in both the gay and straight communities. But there were too many fact and stylistic faults to make this book a success.

First the fact issues: Nebraska in January is cold and most often snowy. Hanging out in cornfields, barefoot, is just not realistic. Then, I don't believe evangelical Christians (at least, that's what was implied in the novel) would have alcohol in th
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
There are few writers out there with the talent and focus of Moskowitz, and Not Otherwise Specified is a vibrant and fully realised portrait of a woman who is complex, prickly, ambitious, scared, self-deprecating, brave and altogether entirely human. Character pieces this beautifully done are hard to come by in any category of fiction.

4.5 stars.

Read the full review at Bibliodaze.
POC bisexual main character? YES!

This is one book I def can't wait for.

(view spoiler) ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Jen • Just One More Page

This review is also posted on my blog.

I received a copy free from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

(view spoiler)
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
For more reviews, gifs, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Not Otherwise Specified was my third Hannah Moskowitz novel, so I thought I knew what to expect. I liked the other two. Not Otherwise Specified, though, has this totally unfortunate cover compared to the others, and I don’t know. Basically, my body was not ready for the emotional impact this book had on me. Moskowitz blew my mind with this one, making me laugh and even cry.

The thing about this book is that I’m sort of surpr
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Huge thank you to Simon Pulse and Edelweiss for this ARC!

This book wasn't entirely on my radar at all, despite having heard good things about Hannah Moskowitz's writing. It was actually seeing Courtney Summers' tweets about the book that made me intrigued to check this book out. It's a shame that this book doesn't release until next year, but having now read it, I wish it would be coming sooner so you all can experience how thoughtful and smart this novel in.

Etta isn't the most likeable protagon
Mar 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Hannah writes books that give me feelings. Lots of them.

I read this book over the course of two days, but even when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it. Usually, it takes a fantasy novel to get me wrapped up in a world and think about it while cooking, eating, and sleeping, but Not Otherwise Specified did it for me too. Loved it.

Etta is a ball of beautiful energy (like Hannah herself, n'est-ce pas?) and wobbles back and forth between almost understanding the impact of her positivity on
Kara Babcock
Longtime Twitter follower of Hannah Moskowitz, first time reader. Why did I pick Not Otherwise Specified? No idea! This was the one that came up and got added to my to-read list. No regrets.

Trigger warning, obviously, for discussions of eating disorder and weight loss. Also for use of potential queer slurs, bullying, and depictions of controlling/manipulative behaviour from friends.

Etta Sinclair is a Black, bisexual girl at an all-girls school. Her decision to date (and then subsequently break u
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Queer Book Review: Not Otherwise Specified 2 8 Feb 01, 2018 10:19AM  

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Hannah Moskowitz wrote her first story, about a kitten named Lilly on the run from cat hunters, for a contest when she was seven years old. It was disqualified for violence. Her first book, BREAK, was on the ALA's 2010 list of Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, and in 2013, GONE, GONE, GONE received a Stonewall Honor. 2015's NOT OTHERWISE SPECIFIED was named the YA Bisexual Book of the Year. She ...more

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“I’ve applied to Brentwood every semester since I was a freshman. My mom fought me on it at first, but I think at this point she’s resigned herself to the fact that I’m never going to get in, so she just signs the forms without arguing. I mean, it’s Brentwood, so to get accepted you not only have to dance like you’re in Black Swan and belt out a B over high C like it’s a middle G and cry on cue through a memorized six thousand lines of Shakespeare, but you have to do it all at once, while having a 4.0 and forking over a hundred thousand dollars and giving the admissions director a blow job, apparently, but once you’re in, you’re in, it’s Brentwood then Juilliard then fame and fortune, and even if not, it’s New York City, baby, and the most important part of this equation is Brooklyn Bridge at midnight and tiny dogs in Chelsea and the Staten Island Ferry and that ex-girlfriend (don’t think about that, should I think about that?) and the answer to the goddamn equation is the absolute value of not Nebraska.” 2 likes
“I go both ways", I say, "You know that whole thing about there being a misconception about bisexuals being sluts. Like everyone thinks that just because we're into both we're into everybody?" ... "Well I'm actually kind of a slut. I'm awesome for the community, obviously” 1 likes
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