Book Review 2: Where You Are

So, a lot of my books are found via Amazon or goodreads, and I believe this one was found via goodreads under the “coming of age” genre. I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to read Where You Are (by J.H. Trumble) and not because of the same-sex romance. Even though I’m straight, I have nothing against same-sex stories, and this one was no exception. It literally blew me away. What made me pause was that it’s about a romance between a high school senior and his math teacher.

Granted, Robert is seventeen in the book, the age of consent in Texas, and Andrew is only 24, but having teachers as parents made me realize how inherently important the student-teacher relationship is, and it is one that should be handled delicately. Lately I find many shows targeted for younger audiences thrive on these love stories that border on inappropriate. It is mostly due to age/power boundaries being crossed, such as Pretty Little Liars does with Ezra and Aria or Switched at Birth did most recently with Daphne and her chef boss, Jeff. Or like Dawson’s Creek did many years ago. It’s not a new epidemic. I had teachers that were not that much older than I was as a senior, and it’s understandable and relatable. It’s not even the age factor; it’s definitely the idea that one person holds the power even if it is 100% consensual.

But I’m going off on a tangent here. While I was hesitant at first, and no doubt there were parts of the book that made scream “What are you doing? Be more careful!” I absolutely fell in love with Where You Are and the relationship between Robert and Andrew.

Robert’s life is falling apart. His dad has cancer, he has a boyfriend who’d rather be anywhere else than with him, and the only place or rather, person, he can be comfortable with is his AP calc teacher, Andrew.

Their relationship starts out innocently enough through text messages and is very much at the forefront a friendship. Robert feels comfortable telling Andrew things that someone who has a parent or a loved one who is terminally ill is feeling, but is very ashamed to feel. And even though Andrew has been out since college, he’s never really had a love like the one he feels with Robert.

I literally finished the story in less than two days because I couldn’t put it down. The cynical part of me was saying I shouldn’t be rooting for them for the main reason I don’t root for the couples that I mentioned above, but I did and I was and I still am.

I was quite sad for Where You Are to come to an end, as it is definitely one of those books that will stay with you for a good long while and wish that even for the tiniest moment that your life could be just as good as it is in a book.

— That Media Chick

Book Review 1: Please Ignore Vera Dietz

I’m pretty sure the reason I flock to YA (young adult) fiction so often is because somewhere I’m still an angst-filled sixteen year old (the part of me who wears graphic t’s and jeans really). I just don’t feel like I’ve accomplished enough to relate to books about 20-somethings who start out in search of something and then well, actually find something by the end of the book, because life doesn’t work like that.

You know it. I know it. We all know it, even Hollywood knows it which is why they choose to make  movies about it to inspire people. Yeah, well, I remain uninspired.

But YA novels just speak to me more and are generally more entertaining. That’s not to say I don’t read adult fiction, but more often than not, when I need to do a little bit of soul searching, I’ll read a YA book instead.

Having read A.S. King’s Ask the Passengers back in November, I had a pretty decent idea of the author’s style of writing, and I had a good feeling  I would therefore enjoy Please Ignore Vera Dietz.

PIVD is the story of high school senior, Vera Dietz, who has been dealing with the death of her best friend (and possible true love) Charlie Khan. While Vera is devastated by her BFF’s death, she’s also conflicted because before he died, Charlie turned against Vera in the cruel way that teenagers do, in the way you hope they look back when they have developed some perspective on the matter and realize how much of an asshole they were. Unfortunately, Charlie never gets that chance, at least not in person.

Throughout the novel, which is mostly is told through Vera’s POV, we get a picture of a lonely teenager who is trying to escape her own destiny, and how much destiny really plays a part in who you are as well as who you become. But as much as the book is about finding a way to not become the person you think you were destined to be, it is also about Vera coming to terms with her future, a future that doesn’t include the one person she thought she could trust forever.

What I like about PIVD is that it is told through different perspectives, not just Vera’s, although she is the main voice. We get insight from Charlie, as well as Vera’s dad, and the town itself. A bit of cynicism mixed with humor, love, hate, death, life, and forgiveness, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is truly a memorable novel and one that should not just fall under the category of “just a YA book.”

King truly knows how to speak to people of all ages, and because of that, I highly recommend this book.

The beginning of something new

Hello fellow readers.  What can I say? I am an avid consumer of media, whether that is books, television, or music. As such, I’ve decided to have some fun with this blog and polish my writing as well as my media critiquing. I’ll be reviewing television, books, and some music, though I can’t guarantee there will be much music to review.

Have fun. Comment.

Until then,

That Media Chick