Review: All the Truth That’s in Me, by Julie Berry

The pitch: After enduring two years of abuse, Judith escapes her kidnapper and returns home. Damaged and shunned by her community, including the man she’s always loved, she must find a way to start to heal. The review: Outstanding. The spare prose carries along this creepy tale of a town … Continue reading

Review: Teenie, Christopher Grant (2010)

Teenie’s best friend Cherise has always been a little wild. Now that she’s accepting money from a guy she met online (who goes by the totally non-sketchy name “Big Daddy”), though, Teenie is really worried. Teenie herself is much more straight-laced and studious, but when a few new clothes get … Continue reading

You keep using that word… (On “strong female characters”)

Carina Chocano’s New York Times article “A Plague of Strong Female Characters” gets at most of my issues with this trope: “Strong female character” is one of those shorthand memes that has leached into the cultural groundwater and spawned all kinds of cinematic clichés: alpha professionals whose laserlike focus on … Continue reading

Review: Shut Out, Kody Keplinger (Sept. 2011)

Sick of taking a backseat to the endless rivalry between her school’s soccer and football teams, Lissa, the quarterback’s girlfriend, convinces other athletes’ girlfriends to join her in a sex strike. (Whew! I love a book with a one-sentence premise.) Lissa’s a little bossy and overly organized (she even works … Continue reading

“What Is a Feminist Reader?”

In February I wrote about Bitch Magazine’s 100 YA Books for the Feminist Reader. A week and a half ago, Arianna of Wandering Librarians and I went to a response discussion at Simmons College (our library school alma mater), entitled “What Is a Feminist Reader?” Here’s her far more prompt … Continue reading

Review: Bumped, Megan McCafferty (Apr. 26, 2011)

In our near future, a virus wipes out the ability of adult women to carry children to term. Teen pregnancies become revered, trendy, and lucrative. Melody’s adoptive parents have groomed her to be the perfect Surogette who will “bump” for the highest bidders, with whatever genetically perfect stud the wealthy … Continue reading