Madison
Madison asked:

Is it a good book for a teen book club ?

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Sarah The to-do about the character donning "war paint" when she's feeling vulnerable, and how she derides people who exaggerate their Native American heritage (admitting that she had done it herself when younger), means that there are people who haven't read the entire book and take these elements out of context for their own political agenda. Teens will relate to Mim's struggle for identity and sanity in a world where she feels lost and tossed. And there are a number of great questions that can be presented to the group, including the nature of psychology, unreliable narrators, the definition of family, feeling of entitlement, and, yes, defying stereotypes.
Lee The stereotype in question is ludicrously blown out of proportion in my opinion.

That said, high schoolers will immensely enjoy this book, and they should definitely read it.
Jan Thankfully, there are readers who will see this to-do about the "stereotype" as ridiculously PC, completely overlooking the excellent literary quality and unique characterizations. If all books were written to conform to insanely strict PC requirements, it would be a sad day for literature, indeed. It is one thing to be sensitive to stereotypes, it is another to reject books based only upon a perceived stereotype that is ONE PERSON's opinion. This nonsense has gone too far.
Debbie I think the stereotypical and inaccurate content related to Native people (Cherokee) will not be seen as such, thereby reinforcing and affirming the mis-information that teens hold about Native people.

My answer to the question is no. It is not a good book for a teen book club.
Jill In short - Yes - it's an EXCELLENT book for a teen book club -depending on the audience and venue. Yes for mature teens, No for middle grade/younger teens. (See "things to know" below.)

I see many answers focus on "the war paint issue". I didn't realize was an 'issue' and sadly diminishes the depth and breadth of the book, which is replete with 'issues' to contemplate and discuss.

As a non-issue - the war paint, vulnerability, masks, and especially the symbolism of the lipstick and use of the lipstick case in the story, etc. holds much to be discussed.

Additionally - (and in my opinion most notably) is the exploration of love - what it means, what it really is among family, friends and romantic interests.

Obviously - mental illness. Again - there is much to consider and discuss (the impact on family, fears, expectations etc.)

Less immediately recognized (at least to me) is the consideration of sexual abuse. This is a big part of the story and characters. Response, result, reactions etc.

The writing - as a literary specimen. (How the author uses symbolim, develops characters etc.)

Some things to know regarding the content.

I described the book as "harsh" to my teen and a PG-13 rating comes to mind - especially the parental guidance. I'm glad to have read it.

Mim uses the 'f word' a lot. (A lot!) While certainly characteristic of the well developed, very complex and very human protagonist Mim - it can be a bit harsh on the ears.

The 'humanity' of the characters is pretty raw. Portrayals of a violent, mentally ill character, and a pedophile are disturbing. Both can be 'felt' due to the author's talent for imaging.

In my opinion there is nothing offensive or diminutive regarding native American references. But... people are different, obviously some people have found it objectionable. Sarah says it best below, I think it's actually an important part of the book content and lends to discussion thereof.

Amina Elmasry As a highschooler, I absolutely loved this book and cannot wait to see what else David Arnold writes because if it's even a smidgen of the genius of this book, I'll love it. And so will a lot of other people (I'm guessing).
Teddy Bear Books Totally! An amazing book with great, but subtle, messages.
Wethers Yes. I'm a teen in a book club. I would have loved to read this in book club.
Ann Absolutely! Teens are going to eat this up!
Eva B. Yes, but for older teens since there is a lot of harsh language and it has mature topics like sexual assault, suicide, mental illness, self-harm, and the death of a loved one.
Tristan Trantow Yes, but I would recommend a more mature audience.
Bre Most teens would probably enjoy this book. Some aspects concerned me as a young adult like that her love interest was several years older than her and she was underage. This isn't an issue in the book, however older guys have preyed on underage girls before and this should be discussed. Plus what everyone else has said about the "war paint".
Basically, this book is very relatable for teens and handles topics pretty well. Much better than a lot of contemporary books at handling mental illness and growing up.
Author-ization Yes, it explores a lot of different, diverse subjects and introduces many diverse characters. It's great for a book club: for discussion and thought between teens who can relate to the characters and the situations! It's really interesting!
Hope this helps. :D
Becky I think they would love it. The book explores mental illness and finding yourself through a unique protagonist. The war paint part is in complete context and has nothing to do with Natives but more about her and her mother's special bond. I would love to hear if you used it. I teach seventh grade, and it's going on my shelf where I will talk it up as a must read. The author allowed the story to develop in unexpected and beautiful ways.
Perennial
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Diana I bought this for my 14 yr. old daughter and started reading it yesterday on the way back on the train. I am thoroughly enjoying it and half way through it. She enjoyed 'Wonder' which I read after she told me I had to, so now it is her turn to listen to me.
Maia D Honestly, yes. It'll captivate anyone at that age, and I'd say it will spur some really interesting discussions.
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