wayfarers all

children's literature, childhood and culture (and anything else that strikes my fancy).

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Location: pittsburgh, U.S. Outlying Islands

carbon-based life form: thinking, reading and gardening. New College alum; current grad student writing a dissertation. I specialize in children's literature, media, and culture, and queer/gender studies, with a strong interest in 19th century British literature and culture. I like history, a lot.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

whooping it up with YA

i went to the library yesterday and returned with a nice stack of YA novels, of which i have already read three. THREE in about 24 hours. i am a quick reader. lucky for me.

i'm on some sort of strange YA kick - i can't get enough! i tried reading my "adult" novels last week and it just flopped. I have Fortress of Solitude started, and it's beautiful but in an almost-distracting way. Every other sentence feels like Beautiful! Meaningful! Deep! Important! Novel! and i can't see what the characters are thinking or doing or feeling. very frustrating.

which is why YA has been so rewarding. I need to go pick over another library - i'm thinking i'll try the squirrel hill, newly reopened branch of the carnegie public libraries. i'm compiling lists like a fiend, trying to find good stuff (the really good stuff as opposed to the merely good).

The 24-hour marathon included:

Rainbow Boys, Alex Sanchez - not bad, a nice teen highschool lovetriangle featuring gay boys in various stages of Out-ness
Donorboy, Brendan Halpin - bravo, brendan halpin! a really good book, good characters, a touch sappy but also aware of its sappiness. and a pretty interesting plot, i must add - Rosalind's moms die in a car/truck accident, her biological dad (aka sperm donor) who she's never met but who knew her moms, takes her in. single 35 year old lawyer guy, 14-year old grief stricken girl. watching rosalind come to like and/or appreciate sean - and the gradual process of that liking - is pretty amazing.
Jake, Reinvented, Gordon Korman. i love gordon korman for a semester in the life of a garbage bag which is quite possibly the funniest, most hysterical book i have ever read. jake...was a bit of a disappointment - it was pretty obvious to me what jake's "secret" was early on, and the whole thing was kind of predictable. moreover, our narrator/hero rick's motives for participating with this crowd of people he clearly dislikes is unclear. then again, korman has this gatsby/daisy thing going (jake/jay; didi/daisy) so perhaps i'll just read rick as nick and say it's Gatsby for the younger set. whether or not the younger set needs its own version of Gatsby is another issue which i will not touch with a ten-foot pole.


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