Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dear handful of appreciated readers,

I have not abandoned you, I've just been hella busy. Also, I've been reading my little(ish) tail off and have found only one more book that is marginally appropriate for the recommended reading list. I hope to post on it shortly, but it's about an 8-year-old so it isn't really a YA book. I just think the subject matter is such that anyone would find it an interesting read and it does deal with what it's like to have a body that doesn't quite fit a socially constructed ideal.

I've read a couple of books now that I had high hopes for because they had protagonists with different body shapes, but I've been let down by the way that the authors have the characters "overcome" their bodies rather than embrace them. I've also been disappointed by the fact that even after these characters evolve, they persist in making snarky comments about the bodies of others as though this is an acceptable way to behave.

It isn't.

This stuff hurts all of us, and I won't present it like a sympathetic role-modelish character should get a free pass for furthering the system just because they have a body that looks like mine. I'll admit that when I was a teen who was completely unaware of fat acceptance or body politics in general I would've loved these books. I was that desperate to see someone I could relate to in contemporary literature. But I can't even give them the Courtney Summers treatment and make them unofficial recommended reading while listing the caveats. They're cute books with cute stories. They aren't heartbreakingly beautiful prose.

However, the book I'm currently reading is a brilliantly written YA fantasy that--100 pages in--totally fits Recommended Reading criteria so I'm very excited. Hooray Books!

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