Posts Tagged: YA

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Review: The Go-Between by Veronica Chambers

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Review: The Go-Between by Veronica Chambers
The Go Between
Veronica Chambers
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: May 9th, 2017
by Delacorte Press

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Fans of Jane the Virgin will find much to love about this coming-of-age novel from bestselling author Veronica Chambers, who with humor and humanity explores issues of identity and belonging in a world that is ever-changing.

She is the envy of every teenage girl in Mexico City. Her mother is a glamorous telenovela actress. Her father is the go-to voice-over talent for blockbuster films. Hers is a world of private planes, chauffeurs, paparazzi and gossip columnists. Meet Camilla del Valle Cammi to those who know her best.

When Cammi s mom gets cast in an American television show and the family moves to LA, things change, and quickly. Her mom s first role is playing a not-so-glamorous maid in a sitcom. Her dad tries to find work but dreams about returning to Mexico. And at the posh, private Polestar Academy, Cammi s new friends assume she s a scholarship kid, the daughter of a domestic.

At first Cammi thinks playing along with the stereotypes will be her way of teaching her new friends a lesson. But the more she lies, the more she wonders: Is she only fooling herself?
-A copy was provided by Delacorte Press for review-

The Go-Between is part fluff and part social commentary. It is this incredible feel good book about a girl has to leave her home country behind to move to America because her mom has landed a roll in American TV. What The Go-Between really tries to break down intersectionality and explore various privileged and oppressed identities.

How does Cammi’s life change when she moves from Mexico City to LA? Her family still has enormous socio-economic privilege but her life does change. The way her classmates interact with her changes and the way she is perceived and stereotyped by her classmates completely changed. Without even getting the chance to introduce herself, her new rich, white classmates craft an identity for her based on racist stereotypes.

And yet even though for the first time in her life Cammi has to deal with oppression and racism, she still have socio-economic privileges she has always taken for advantage and continues to take advantage of when her family moves to LA. She plays along with the poor, scholarship kid that works multiple jobs identity that has been crafted for her while undermining her classmates who are actually poor and have to have a job.

Her transition to LA is more than just her becoming aware of what its like to be Latinx in America, its about her realizing the enormous socio-economic privilege she does have and balancing her various identities.

The Go-Between is a thought-provoking book and yet I feel like the writing falls just a little short for me. The book is quick and easy to read, and maybe it is because I read an arc and not a finished copy, but I feel like the book needs so much more polishing. There are ragged sentences and some minor plot arcs that aren’t quite wrapped up within the book. I usually don’t even notice editing/writing things (hell, I am probably not going to be proof reading this post because I am exhausted all the time and need sleep) but it really stood out to me with this book and I think it did dampen the reading experience for me. But do remember that I read an ARC and for so many books, the ARC and finished copy are worlds apart so who knows what changes were made.

Overall, I do think The Go-Between is a book worth taking a chance on (especially since it is #own voices) and one that many people will enjoy.

 

3.5 Stars
3.5 Hot Espressos

Blog Tour: Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld

Blog Tour: Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld

Posted by on 05/09/2017 • 1 Comment

This was a creepy, weird book, interesting graphic novel.  I don’t tend to read a lot of them, but I do enjoy them on occasion. This one has beautiful artwork and a pretty crazy storyline. I thought that the illustrations really brought the story to life and added a creepy factor to it.  The characters were great too and though we don’t learn too much about them yet, it really makes the anticipation for a sequel almost unbearable.

Addie is the main character. She takes care of her little sister now that her parents are dead. Thanks to The Spill. No one is allowed in the Spill Zone, but Addie sneaks in and takes gorgeous, haunting, and chilling photos of it. It’s super dangerous, but that is the only way…

Needs More Diversity: Queer, There and Everywhere by Sarah Prager

Needs More Diversity: Queer, There and Everywhere by Sarah Prager

Posted by on 05/02/2017 • 0 Comments

I feel like somewhat of a black sheep because I didn’t absolutely love this book but *insert shrug emoji*. I love that we get to learn about so many amazing individuals, I love the detail each section goes into and how easy it is to read and yet, when I look back at the people who are represented in this book, it seems like there isn’t as much rep as their could be. Queer, There and Everywhere is essentially trying to present readers with the stories of amazing queer people across time and remind people that queer people have always been here. For a book trying to achieve that though, it primarily draws on queer people from the western world and those closely tied with the historical movements in the western world….

The Infinite Variants of YA: The One Where Erin Gough Has to Choose Between Being Lost at Sea or in the Woods

The Infinite Variants of YA: The One Where Erin Gough Has to Choose Between Being Lost at Sea or in the Woods

Posted by on 04/20/2017 • 0 Comments

HELLO and welcome back to this fancy feature that Nick (Nick & Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist) and I are collaborating on! This month I am sharing a fun interview with the delightful Erin Gough! RAISE A GLASS TO (freeedoooommm) to ERIN GOUGH!

1. If you could be any color in the world, what color would you be? 

Green. It’s the colour of nature, not to mention the Wicked Witch of the West. Kermit is green, too, and that frog can dance.

2. Who does Delilah consider to be a person who has everything put together?

Rosa Barea, definitely. From a distance, Rosa seems smart, talented and sure of herself. Of course, when Del gets to know her better, she realises that she’s not as together as she seems.

3. What song would Delilah think…

Different in a Good Way: Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon

Different in a Good Way: Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon

Posted by on 04/07/2017 • 2 Comments

Motorbike clubs is always a good way to get a person’s attention but I honestly did not expect what I got from Done Dirt Cheap. I assumed there would be an element of fluff to the book but instead, what I got was a complex, thoughtfully crafted novel with words that just jumped off the page. There are some books you finish that will oddly make you feel nostalgic for something you don’t even quite remember and Done Dirt Cheap was that book for me. In some ways it was reminiscent of the contemporary YA novels I grew up on.

I think part of the nostalgia for me came from the focus on female friendships in this book. Like both the main characters have their love interests and those relationships are important (and…

The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett

The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett

Posted by on 02/10/2017 • 1 Comment

I have no idea how I am supposed to feel about this book. I love how the author builds tension throughout the book and I love the general creepiness of it but I struggled with a lot of other aspects of the book. The characters, the romance, and even some of the horror elements of the book.

I think my biggest qualm in terms of the actual horror parts of the book is how much they are based on Christian myth. This is obviously a very personal qualm and not all readers will have that same experience but as someone who exists outside of that narrative, it can be a little unsettling to have all this info forced down ones throat. It isn’t even just the satanic elements but rather the…

A Book With the Potential to Completely Fuck You Over: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

A Book With the Potential to Completely Fuck You Over: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Posted by on 02/01/2017 • 11 Comments

Holy shit. THIS BOOK GUYS. Allegedly was one of my most anticipated books, but my co-worker who read it before I had a lot of FEELS (not good or bad, just FEELS), so I was a little nervous when I dove in. I had no idea the book would grip me and NOT LET ME GO. I read the 373 page book in a little over 2.5 hours. I GOBBLED IT, all while growing more and more anxious as I could feel something B.I.G. coming.

This book treads all the fine lines ever. There is no easy black and white in this book and it goes to lengths to make sure YOU KNOW THAT TOO. Justice, family, life cannot be put into little boxes and Jackson really explores what is right…

A Well Written, Character Driven Novel: Fire Color One by Jenny Valentine

A Well Written, Character Driven Novel: Fire Color One by Jenny Valentine

Posted by on 01/27/2017 • 3 Comments

Fire Color One is usually not the kind of novel I would find myself enjoying but I was thoroughly swept away by it. I love character development but I don’t really tend to enjoy books that are solely character driven. Fire Color One is primarily character driven. There is definitely a plot but it revolves around character revelations. Not around actual happenings. Yet it somehow managed to sweep me away till I had somehow run out of pages to read (*shakes fist at book for not being longer*)

This is a novel about grief, about relationships and a little bit about some revenge (and I am totes petty so I am all about the revenge life.) I think part of the magic of this book comes from how well the relationships…