Tagged with teens
Attitude!: Eight Young Dancers Come of Age at The Ailey School
Fishman follows eight high school dancers studying at The Ailey School, trying to discern what exactly talent is and what makes it go. She doesn't separately profile each student. Instead it's one narrative with themes (like eating disorders and weight, sexuality, race and friendship) explored by chapter. Although you can tell Fishman cares about her subjects, she manages not to get too sucked in. I like her researched but relatively casual approach.
Wonder When You'll Miss Me
I don't know how to talk about this novel. Plot points and themes include gang rape, weight and body image, mental health and life in a traveling circus. I appreciate the protagonist's emotional progression throughout, but I'm not sure the conceit of her imaginary "fat girl" companion really works. It's still a good book. Read it and tell me what you think.
Grace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith
Like lots of people who watched the Summer (for the northern hemisphere, anyway) Olympics, I was immediately enamored by Gabby Douglas. She's so talented! Pretty! And her being Black in a sport disproportionately dominated by White athletes, at least per this USA Gymnastics Diversity Study is part of her appeal, especially considering how biased the media coverage was. Consider that Jordyn Weiber was the girl-to-beat going in, but Douglas is the one who won the Olympic trials.
I don't usually care for novels without likable protagonists, but I found Hooked to be compelling and enjoyable even though the narrator, Thea Galehouse, is pretty apathetic and presumably depressed. Her parents are self-absorbed and helpless, and Thea's boyfriend doesn't seem to have much special about him other than his potent sperm. The characters I like best are Carmen of the yarn shop and Thea's best friend Vanessa.
Theater Geek: the Real Life Drama of a Summer at Stagedoor Manor, the Famous Performing Arts Camp
I went to this camp for two summers, so I’m not an unbiased reviewer. Rapkin has a big old crush on Stagedoor Manor, which I think is a little excessive. Theater Geek is a quick and enjoyable enough read, but I think even if I hadn’t gone to Stagedoor myself, I would have pegged the author as overly effusive. But maybe that’s just sour grapes because I wasn’t a camp star like the book’s three profilees were.
Another Life Altogether
Jesse Bennett is an incidentally queer teen with a whack job mom and social status anxiety. I like that the lesbian storyline, while important is only one of the three major themes of this adult, but suitable-for-young-adults novel. Jesse is a likable and believable character in a likable and believable novel. It's a pity I don't have anything brilliant to say about the book because it's a likely candidate for next year's favorites list.
Life of Glass, the
I was really happy with the first say 4/5ths of this YA novel--until it turned into a teen romance. What's up with that? I've got too much work to do right now to right a better description or review. With a 14-year-old narrator, the book is listed as grade 7 and up, but I think it's perfectly suitable to older readers. It doesn't feel at all "tween."
Killing Jar, the
Per my post on LCSH Watch 2009, Week 51, I discovered this book via its subject heading, FEMALE JUVENILE DELINQUENTS—FICTION. If I were assigning subject headings, I wouldn't necessarily have picked that one, though. I might have gone with one of the cataloger's other choices PROBLEM FAMILIES -- ENGLAND -- NOTTINGHAM -- FICTION, but more to the point, CHILDREN OF DRUG ADDICTS. Essentially, I would have been more loving to the book's protagonist, Kerrie-Ann (Kez) Hill, whom we follow from the age of five to eighteen. She does a lot of illegal things and more than her share of drugs, but I don't see her as a delinquent, and neither does author Nicola Monaghan.
I probably can't talk about this book without spoilering it, so proceed with caution, especially Danna, to whom I am going to mail it as soon as it's safe to go back to the post office. (i.e. after Santamas)
The first back of the book blurb likens the title character to a 21st century Lolita, but I think she's more similar to a blogging Go Ask Alice.