YA Contemporary/ Own Voices
Okay so I have a lot of things to say about this book. A lot. I could just go on and on because this book is a major punch to the gut. Seriously, you read this book and think you know what is going to happen. In fact, I was so convinced I knew the outcome of the story and then I was shocked to find out what really happened. This book is twisted and dark, in the best ways possible. Of course, be forewarned it is very dark. But so good. It’s amazing. God, this book blew my mind.
Mary killed Alyssa when she was nine. Allegedly. She spent time in jail and now lives in a foster home. She still sees her mom and is trying to deal with her life as someone who is trying to prove she didn’t kill the baby like everyone believes. After dealing with years of sexual and physical abuse as a child, she still has a hard time coping with all of the trauma. Mary wants to clear her name but her Momma just wants her daughter to be a good girl and follow the path of the Lord. Mary has dreams of college and making someone of herself. When she finds herself pregnant, she has to find a way to fight for her baby in anyway she can. The baby means the world to her and she isn’t going to let the state take away her child. Mary wants to clear her name for good.
I thought I knew what this book was going to be. As a true crime fan, I was like yeah I know how this going to play out because I’ve listened to so many podcasts and have read about many cases. Also I didn’t know there was a real life case like this either so wow. But from the beginning as a true crime afficiando, I was so sure I had the whole plot figured out. But nope. I was surprised immensely by the twist in this book. It completely blew my mind….
Unreliable narrators make for a great story. I would highly recommend this book to everyone. It is fantastic because it’s an own voices book which has diversity, deals with issues of gender, class, race, and the justice system. Tiffany Jackson did a stellar job, and I can’t wait to get my hands on her next book.
LGBTQIA YA Contemporary
So here we go.
Once again, I had high hopes for Adam Silvera because of how everyone talks him up and says his books are their absolute favorite thing ever. So I was fairly looking forward to reading his new book when it came out, but I ended being really, really underwhelmed. Just like… oh okay. I guess that really was the story and the whole book. Which really sucks because I thought I was going to be so in love with this book and scream my love for it from the rooftops. Yeah, not so much.
This book deals well with the topic of grief. I can’t imagine Silvera could have done a better job having Griffin mourn Theo. It is realistic and believable. I wasn’t like thinking anything bad about the main aspect of the book at all. I liked even better how Silvera has the ability to write the grief in such a way it reminds me of my own loss. He was spot on with the important aspect. Not to mention, I love how he writes books more teens and people should be reading. We need more LGBTQIA perspectives in YA novels and just books in general. Kudos to Silvera for doing it so well. But….
I didn’t like this book a lot. I had a hard time getting through the book because of Griffin. He is just such a toxic character. He makes bad choices and doesn’t care about who he hurts. He wants to feel better about dealing with the loss of his first love so he decides to connect with his dead ex boyfriend’s current boyfriend. What could possibly go wrong at all with the situation? Not to mention the time shifts in the book from the current to the past. This means you’re only getting one part of the story. Obviously something is being left out and it’s going to be important. Silvera always does that with his books. You find out later he purposefully kept out a piece of information meant to blow your mind. Of course, he did it once again with this book. Maybe it’s just his thing, but it’s not one of my favorite literary plot devices.
The secret bit of information you find out left me confused. I didn’t see it coming, and I don’t know how it fit into the story. The whole story was about Griffin and Jackson trying to deal with Theo dying and boom, there’s this other tidbit you find out which shifts the story once again. I kind of lost interest in this book because it was dragging a lot. I just wanted to find out the ending. So I forced myself to push through. I once again just went oh okay to this big plot reveal and kind of read through how it tied it to the rest of the story. So, yeah. I ended up being really underwhelmed. And I don’t know why, but I felt like the depiction of the OCD and mental illness seems a tad inaccurate. I don’t want to say I don’t want to read Silvera ever again because it’s so great to have a voice in books dealing with LGBTQIA characters, but I’m hoping he tries something new with his writing eventually so I don’t keep on getting annoyed at his constant utilization of certain writing tools. This book tackles grief well. I just hated the main character and pretty much everything else. Oops.