Summer 2013 Reads – part two

16 07 2013

Even though the summer started off fairly promising, bookwise it seems to have taken a turn for the mediocre…

The cat went on holiday to Zeeland and in her book bag, she had…

The Disenchantments (by Nina LaCour)

Colby has a plan: grdisenchantmentsaduate, go on tour with his best friend Bev’s band, and then off to Europe with Bev (who he’s been in love with forever, of course!). That is until Bev confesses she did after all apply to college and actually got into her number one choice. Gone are all of Colby’s plans…or are they? This book definitely has everything people expect from a “summer read”: music, fun, tears, road trip, …  nothing too original in terms of “teen finding himself” either and even though it really is an OK read, after reading Hold Still I definitely expected this one to stand out more than it did.

3 stars

I am J (by Cris Beam)

iamjOK, so I’m all for diversity in books. Really I am: in terms of race, gender, sexuality… one reason why I like losing myself in books so much is because it offers so many different opportunities, it shows so many different types of people, so many conflicting emotions and decisions, and … well, you get my drift. But what I also want – and probably even more so – is just a kick ass read. I want an author to explore all possibilities and go for the hard choice. The boyfriend has a T-shirt that says “Keep Books Dangerous”, and I couldn’t agree more. Have at it, writers, explore the hell out of yourself, your characters, your story… but please, please, please, don’t do it one-dimensionally and keep your readers on their toes. If you don’t, everything is just so incredibly boring.

I really don’t want diversity for diversity’s sake either. And with Cris Beam’s I am J, I feel that this is “just an issues book” about a transgender person, and when “the issue” is the book, rather than just part of the story, you know something is wrong. I am J is the story of 17-year-old J, who knows he is a boy, even though he was born biologically as a girl. The book is supposed to be his struggle against the social definition of “gender”, but there really isn’t much of a struggle going on, really. The way that his best friend and his parents deal with this is definitely not worked out enough. The worst part of this book therefore is definitely how politically correct this book is.

2 stars

I’m With Stupid (by Geoff Herbach)

I’m glad Herbach is done with this series. Seriously, I am. I think that Herbach can write incredibly funny scenes and great characters and Felton is a GREAT male voice in YA. I loved the hell out of Stupid Fast. But unfortunately, after Stupid Fast, it sort of went downhill… Nothing Special really was…nothing special (like Stupid Fast was), and I’m With Stupid is more akin to Nothing Special than it does with Stupid Fast.  What I’m With Stupid does accomplish is bringing the Felton arc to a satisfactory ending, so I guess it’s not all bad… still, I want to be surprised again in Herbach’s next book!

imwithstupid

2.5 stars

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2 responses

9 08 2013
The things a brother knows (by Dana Reinhardt) | Ringo the Cat's Blog

[…] I not know about this thing wow”, more like an expected wow… And then there was mediocre, after mediocre book… topped by a really bad one and then there is this: Dana Reinhardt’s The things a brother […]

20 07 2014
Fat Boy vs the Cheerleaders (by Geoff Herbach) | Ringo the Cat's Blog

[…] The thing that irks me the most about this book, though, is once again the ‘absent’ (mom left) or ‘clueless’ (Gabe’s dad) parent trope. Instead we’re getting a grandfather who used to be a bodybuilder champion, and who serves as the voice of understanding, but I can’t shake the feeling that we’ve also seen him before in I’m with Stupid. […]

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