Monday, April 11, 2011

Recommended Reading: Something, Maybe

Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott is one of my favorite YA books. The main character is extremely likable. Anyone who has ever felt out of place (i.e. everyone) can relate to her. The voice in this novel is spectacularly authentic. You really feel like a sixteen-year-old is sitting in front of you telling you what happened.

It's a familiar story framed in an unlikely way. Taken from Elizabeth Scott's website:

Everyone thinks their parents are embarrassing, but Hannah knows she's got them all beat. Her dad made a fortune showing pretty girls--and his "party" lifestyle--all over the Internet, and her mom, who was once one of her dad's girlfriends, is now the star of her own website. After getting the wrong kind of attention for far too long, Hannah has learned how to stay out of sight...and that's how she likes it.

Of course, being unknown isn't helping her get noticed by gorgeous, confident Josh, who Hannah knows is her soul mate. Between trying to figure out a way to get him to notice her, dealing with her parents, and wondering why she can't stop thinking about another guy, Finn, Hannah feels like she's going crazy. She's determined to make things work out the way she wants....only what she wants may not be what she needs.
Obviously, with the Playboyesque theme running through it there is some talk about the value of certain types of bodies that some could find triggering. But I didn't feel that the reader was supposed to infer that these attitudes were absolutes, rather that these are the prevailing attitudes in pop culture. There is a lot of diet talk, but it is framed as not worth pursuing.

One of the things I especially like is that throughout the book it is clear that various people find Hannah attractive even though she doesn't wear make up or dress up. And there are no yucky makeovers.

Recommended Reading will be a recurring feature on this blog. I'm doing this in an effort to build a list of YA books that I believe are both great stories and treat people's bodies in a sensitive manner. I will do my best to point out things about books I suggest that might be triggering even if I feel the book as a whole is worthwhile. If you have suggestions for future recommended books or comments/criticisms of books I write about please feel free to leave them in comments.

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