Friday, May 23, 2014
Carrie is the May Author in the Spotlight here on BookSnob and she has written a guest post on YA male narrated books.
Carrie's books ,Sex & Violence as well as her soon to be released YA novel, Perfectly Good White Boy feature teen male narrators. One of the books she is writing about today will be featured on BookSnob next month. Hint: It is the last one. Shhhh.
Four Excellent YA Boy-Narrator Books
People make a lot of the fact that boys supposedly don’t read or that YA books aren’t marketed to boys or that something awful is happening in our culture which makes boys do something else besides pursue imaginative literacy. But I have a hard time caring about any of this, because I think the claims are sketchy and specious at best.
Instead, I’ll point out four very good YA books that feature boy-narrators and that I highly recommend.
1) Ordinary Ghosts by Eireann Corrigan
Emil Simon is funny and sad and lonely and he’s never kissed a girl.
He’s funny because all people who’ve experience death and loss are kind of funny and dry. His mother has died and his brother’s left the family and he’s trying to get through being alone with his father in an empty house. So of course, author Eireann Corrigan does something that every fantasy writer does; she gives him a magical gift on his journey through sadness: a skeleton key that opens all the doors at his private school. That’s where he meets a girl named Jade, who’s sad, too, but for different reasons.
2) Vision Quest by Terry Davis
Read this book, see the movie. Both are very enjoyable. Louden Swain is a kid with a goal – to drop a weight class in order to wrestle a formidable opponent. It sounds simple, but what’s going on in Louden’s head is very complex…and very familiar to anyone who’s ever been a teenager. The movie ends differently than the book and while I like the movie’s ending well enough, I prefer the book’s ending. Adolescence isn’t about arrival to adulthood. It’s about getting there and Davis’ ending reflects that so well.
3) Stick by Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith is such a lyrical writer. I know he’d probably rather punch me than hear that, but his words are so musical and hypnotic. Stick is about a boy living with cruelty and disability, with only his older brother as an ally. It’s a book that stays with you long after you finish and the experience of seeing the words on the page, rolling about like the words that ‘stick’ in the main character’s mind – Stark McClellan only has one ear and so sound functions differently for him – is unbelievably beautiful.
4) Guy In Real Life by Steve Brezenoff
Steve Brezenoff is a writer fascinated by gender and his latest book
continues to explore that theme. Written in dual perspectives - a boy named Lesh, a girl named Svetlana – the story is about identity in the world of gaming, whether that be table-top D&D, World of Warcraft and LARPing – Live Action Role Playing. This story reminds us that we’re all playing a role in adolescence; we’re all scrabbling after some kind of easy markers of identity when we’re young and old. It’s also a very funny book and you don’t need to like gaming to enjoy it, either.
Thanks Carrie for this awesome guest post and introducing me to some awesome new books and authors.
If you would like to win a copy of Carrie's book, Sex & Violence please click here: Sex & Violence Giveaway