i know it’s over

How many times can one person break your heart?

Nick doesn’t expect Sasha, he certainly doesn’t expect to fall in love with her. And when he does, he is a little surprised when she agrees to have sex with him. And even more surprised when she breaks up with him. But that is nothing compared to what he feels when she shows up at his house Christmas Eve to tell him she is pregnant.

Pregnant teens seem to be all the rage right now, good and bad. But mostly we are all focused on the girl. There are a couple of books where the boy raises the baby – The First Part Last and Hanging on to Max but this one is a love story from the POV of the boy, and one that ends with an abortion, also from the male POV, which is different.
Abortion is so obviously the right thing to do that I feel like crying. The kid never had a chance from the start.
Nick is conflicted about Sasha’s choices, and it doesn’t help that he still loves her even though they have broken up, but this choice is out of his control, and he really wants to do the right thing. I like that Martin considered that this is an issue for the boy in the relationship as well.

I thought Martin handled both the love story, the sex, and the consequences well.

PS: I haven’t read Slam but that would be another one.


Long Live The Queen

I ordered this a long time ago, and yesterday it arrived.  It is a re-release of the Meg Powers series, which had a follow up published this past year.  I wasn’t going to sit down and read it but I started read a few pages and the next thing you know I was hooked.

Meg Powers’ mother is the President, which is something that Meg and her family have had to work very hard to adjust to, and they are trying to live as close to a normal life as possible when you reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  But on a day when Meg is in a ridiculously good mood all notions of living normal fly out the window.  Meg is kidnapped in a violent and fatal couple minutes she is whisked away.

Meg’s captors, well captor, assures he is eventually going to kill her.  He beats her, and interestingly enough gets her drunk and has a conversation with her, and one day leaves her chained in a mine shaft to die.  I won’t spoil it any more except to say she doesn’t (or else there wouldn’t be a sequel).

The second half of the book is Meg’s recovery.

I already had an affection for Meg, and in this book she is more of an innocent, less hard.  Well, duh!!  But in a way reading backwards was a little sad because you see this girl she was before she was kidnapped, and you know who she is later.  You understand why but I think it is also clearer how totally fucked up she is from this kidnapping, although as I said after LMSR I don’t think she knows exactly how damaged she really is, there is a lot more for her to work out.

Meg is definitely a survivor, and not only physically.  She is sarcastic, and funny.  She hates crying in front of people and tries to hide it.  She may at times be a bot to much of a people pleaser in this book, but she grows out of that, so she can take care of herself.

Now I am not sure if I want to read the one before this . . .

PS: Also now that I have seen the re-release covers I get the LMSR cover but I still don’t like it.  I saw a bookstore recommendation at Bookshop Santa Cruz that started with Yes, it is that good, ignore the cover or something similar and I laughed aloud.

Good Reads

I am building my library on Good Reads and as I do it I am starting to wonder – am I harder on Adult fiction than YA? I would have said no, but now I am thinking maybe I am.

Gossip Girl

I have to say I am impressed with the ability of this brand to continually create buzz by pushing the envelope.

Thoughts on YA

I am procrastinating by reading all my favorite blogs.*** I could call it research since I am working on a book in which I encourage blog reading as a form of professional development but the truth is . . . . I am procrastinating.

So there is this article from the NY Times by Margo Rabb that has popped up on a number of blogs I read. It is about the publishing choices made in regards to YA and Adult novels. It includes my favorite quote on this issue from Sherman Alexie: “I thought I’d been condescended to as an Indian — that was nothing compared to the condescension for writing Y.A.” Seriously how great is that. Rabb’s article explores the “crossover” novel, books that move fluidly between adult fiction and YA fiction. Some of these are easily identifiable – and she talks to those authors such as Curtis Sittenfeld (I suppressed my irritation with her enough to read that paragraph but only barely) and Mark Haddon.

A couple of things struck me as pretty interesting. Peter Cameron doesn’t seem to be o.k. with the designation of Some Day This Pain Will Be Useful to You, and wants his publisher to put it in the adult catalog when the paperback comes out. I thought that was interesting considering the buzz and praise I heard about this book when it first came out. Rabb, on the other hand, seems to have reconciled/embraced herself to Cures for a Heartbreak’s subjective designation. (And it seems to me quite a lot of age designation is subjective) And she has discovered that thing that YA authors talk about and appreciate: teens will write you about how much your story has changed their life/ helped them cope/ made them like books. And not just because their teacher made them – although that happens as well.

Liz B. over at A Chair, etc. suggests multiple copies in multiple areas. Which is always a technique I agree with. Little Willow points out that readers are fluid and just want a good book. I agree with her up to a point and wish I could shop her store. Both the Big Box store I shop in the town in which I live (no Indie), and the Indie I shop in the town in which I work (too snobby to buy mass marketed fiction there), look at me like I am some sort of delayed adolescent or worse when I purchase YA. It took a few years to move past my defensiveness, although there are still some days I’d like to tell the snotty ass clerks to go to hell, they probably wouldn’t know good literature if it bit them in the ass. So yeah, cross-promotion by shelving all over the store would be a good thing.* I like the UK and Australia publishing with different covers as both YA and Adult too. (Hang on – getting to the covers.)

So I was in the Big Box last night and this was floating around in my mind. Here is what I saw – on the shelves of New Fiction (8 shelves, maybe 32-36 titles) there were 5 new middle grade or YA titles. Nothing indicated publishers designation as tween/teen novels. Same thing in the new paperback section. Of course I would have been happier if the paperbacks hadn’t included The Clique, but whatever that just me being all judgmental. Plus there was the big ass, inevitable Stephenie Meyer Twilight display. But there was this melding of books. Not so at the indie but I think that is because they lost their really good childrens/YA book buyer.

Remember I said I’d get to the covers? Well Liz B. over at A Chair etc.** posted a link to an article from Print magazine on the repackaging of YA novels which was definitely worth a read. We, who sell books to kids in our stores and our libraries, know how important a cover can be. One of the reasons I love Jacket Whys. So it was interesting to consider how covers change with reissue.

In both articles not one pet peeve about YA you usually find in media articles. Oh, except Nancy Drew????? Not really YA. Oh – and Curtis Sittenfeld.

*Except when you put Tweak face out on a table at the entrance to the CHILDREN’S SECTION!

** The full name seems to long to type when I am in the flow but it is A Chair, A Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy.

*** Must update my blogroll.

Netflix Feed Petty Pet Peeve

My Netflix feed used to put the more popular movies at the top, now they are buried in the middle and I have to scroll through exercise videos to find what I want.  Que annoying.

Petty Series Pet Peeves

I hate it when I am rooting for characters in a series, and the author takes it a different direction.  And then on top of that the series ends!!!!!!!!   Yes, I am talking about you Jenna Blake.

Great CSI like series.  Not so happy with Danny’s tragic ride into the sunset.  Harrumpf.