Friday, June 13, 2014

What we're reading: Edgy fiction

I'm planning to read at least a dozen of the 25 books nominated for this year's Teens' Top Ten list. So this weekend I started off with Maybe I Will, by Laurie Gray, which was a bit of a heavy choice in terms of topic. The protagonist, Sandy, has a traumatizing experience and tries to kill the pain with lying, stealing, and copious amounts of alcohol. There's something about this story that will really throw you for a loop--if you're like me, you will make a basic assumption throughout, only to realize that you might have been completely wrong. As one reviewer suggested, I'd like to go back and read the book with the opposite assumption and see if it works for me. But maybe not yet!

In terms of stars, this book has to get high marks, although I can't say I precisely enjoyed reading it. I would echo other reviewers who call it an "important," book, a ground-breaking book, a book that both teens and parents would benefit from reading. I predict that it will take its place with Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, and with Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher, and with other books that feature teens who must choose how to deal with pain and take their lives back. Sandy's story is a compelling one, and I would urge teens who don't know how to reveal their pain and ask for help to read Sandy's story for themselves.

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