Sahar's Reviews > It's a Whole Spiel

It's a Whole Spiel by Katherine  Locke
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it was amazing
bookshelves: arcs, tbr-september-2019, jewish-reading-list

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Any quotes are from the advanced copy.

It's a Whole Spiel is one of the best depictions of the diverse range of the Jewish experience I've ever seen. I loved the anthology so much. Each story was its own little world, and they all left me both wanting more and satisfied that I knew enough to be content.

The sheer amount of LGBTQA+ representation made me so happy. Lines like, "'I'm not Jewish enough for the Jewish kids, too religious for the other queer kids, and too Jewish for everyone else,'" rang so true to my lived experience as a Jewish person in the LBGTQA+ community. Unlike most YA books I've read with LGBTQA+ characters, it's not just different sexualities that are featured--there are multiple trans characters in this book, including a trans middle schooler, Davey, who readers see through the eyes of their brother, Gabe. The representation in this book is really amazing, and not done in a way that feels tokenized.

Some of the phrases in the book could have been plucked straight out of conversations I've had with Jewish friends. This was not a book written for goyim, this was a book written for Jews of all walks of life.

I think one of my favorite quotes, which to me perfectly summarizes how contradictory and ridiculous antisemitism is, came from one of the early chapters and goes like this: "'We do control the media,' I told him. 'Or the banks? Or we're all communists. I can never remember.'"

There are amazingly well-written depictions of different aspects of mental health written in this book, including eating disorders and OCD, which could be triggering to some audiences, but aren't written in a way that's intended to be an after-school special, they're just aspects of various character's lives.

I really encourage this book for anyone to read, but especially my fellow Jews--because this is a book For Us.
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Reading Progress

September 9, 2019 – Shelved
September 9, 2019 – Shelved as: arcs
September 9, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
September 9, 2019 – Shelved as: tbr-september-2019
September 12, 2019 – Started Reading
September 12, 2019 –
10.0% "Loving this book so far"
September 12, 2019 –
20.0%
September 13, 2019 –
37.0%
September 13, 2019 –
44.0%
September 13, 2019 –
53.0%
September 13, 2019 –
62.0% "I’m hooked."
September 14, 2019 –
76.0% "Loved the latest story. This whole collection just...yes"
September 14, 2019 –
86.0%
September 14, 2019 – Finished Reading
September 19, 2019 – Shelved as: jewish-reading-list

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