Apparently I'm a sucker for hype because a sign-up-within-24-hours type message got me to request this book in a hot second. The book doesn't come out until January, but I guess they're thinking or hoping it's going to be HUGE. The author is the co-founder of DiversitYA and VP of We Need Diverse Books and seems committed to young adult fiction that represents a wide spectrum of experience. She is a diversity in literature activist, as well as a creator.
She seems to be a high achiever in the former pursuit, but I'm afraid Nijkamp's activism doesn't do as much good in her writing. (I am sharing my experience reading the book; someone in its target demographic, i.e., 30 years younger than me, might like it a lot more than I did.) It took me 30-40 pages to get into the novel. Once the shots started getting fired I was more engaged, but lost interest again before too long. I couldn't keep the characters straight for the longest time, and even at the end I had to remind myself how the people were related to one another or what their issues were.
Or maybe I'm just mad at Nijkamp because the description of the school librarian, Ms. Smith includes the word "elderly," refers to a hip replacement, having lived in the same house for the dawn of time, and cites her accomplishments as a baker and soup-maker, rather than as an educator, media specialist, or technologist, which is what school librarians are. Harrumph!
I'll leave my review at that. I'll be interested to hear what some teens thing about this book.
On either side of the tape, the parents form an honor guard of despair.