Young Adult Lit/Crit

February 12, 2008

24/7 Reading!

Filed under: Look What I'm Reading for Book Club! — Mandy @ 6:03 pm

For book club this week I finished Rebel Angels by Libba Bray. For those of you who have not been in my book club yet, this is the second book in a trilogy about Gemma Doyle, a girl growing up in London who suddenly discovers she has magical powers. The first book is A Great and Terrible Beauty and the last is entitled The Sweet Far Thing, the latter of which I need to pick up this weekend at Barnes and Noble. I would definitely recommend these texts to anyone interested in fantasy, history, power dynamics, and gender relations, all of which are at work in these books. It is difficult to talk about this text without giving too much information away, but I admit that I was hooked after the first book. I can identify with the strong-willed protagonist, as I imagine many teen girls can, yet I am also interested in how historical London is portrayed. At the same time, I love the fantasy elements, which aren’t silly as I find some fantasy stories to be.

I also finished A Swift Pure Cry, and it was nothing like I expected. There were several scenes in this book that I did not anticipate at all, but which were very interesting nonetheless. Religion and spirituality play a central role in this text, in actuality and also figuratively. I was happy to see this theme emerge in another YA text, as after reading does My Head Look Big In This, I couldn’t think of another text that dealt with spirituality as a central issue. Further, this book is also about an Irish teen who gets involved in a pregnancy scandal that changes the course of her life, and also about how different people deal with death. There are also of important dynamics at work in this text, many of which I think are appropriate for a mature audience. Lust, sex, pregnancy, abortion, betrayal, incest, and a critical view of the catholic church/police force, both as institutions, are among the many presented in the text.

In the meantime I am going to start Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac. Has anyone read this?




  1. Wow Mandy! I’m really impressed by how much you’ve been able to read. It seems like you’re really getting familiar with a lot of titles. So far, which one has moved you the most?


    Comment by scrollman — February 13, 2008 @ 6:57 pm

  2. Jonathan:
    Work these past weeks has been somewhat slow, so I have been devouring as many books as I can before it picks up again…and reading is my therapy so I love that I actually have an excuse to read all day! Over winter vacation I read Tamar, which I have been raving about to everyone. I absolutely LOVED it. It is about the Holocaust, yet it also connects to present day through a descendant of a spy who was working against the Nazis. My meager review cannot possibly do it justice but it is one of the best books I have read in terms of YA lit. Probably the most profound. I also read Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli and I thought that was wonderful, with a good message for teens about fitting in with their peers. The Libba Bray series has been simply fun. It is my pleasure reading for sure. I will keep you updated as I (hopefully) keep reading, and let you know when I come across exceptionally good titles.


    Comment by mandygrl101 — February 13, 2008 @ 10:19 pm

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