Losing It by Cora Carmack. Self-published ebook, 2012. Currently available.
Age Level & Genre: New Adult contemporary realistic fiction
Face Value: Well, there’s no question about it: this book is going to talk about sex. The cover leaves nothing to the imagination regarding the subject matter. I’m shocked at how young Garrick looks on the cover. I imagined him as a more mature looking man, especially because he is several years older than Bliss. He looks like a young adolescent in this picture. That’s weird.
Does it break the slate? Nope. Not even a little. I had hoped for some level of sex positive discourse and confidence in body image because this book is supposedly about a woman taking charge of her sex life. Unfortunately, none of that emerged. This book glorifies an exceptionally unprofessional relationship. It also exemplifies marriage as the ideal state for a relationship, and that’s just not something that works for everyone.
Who would we give it to? This isn’t really a book that I would recommend to others. However, if pressed to identify someone who may enjoy reading the book, I’d give it to a theatre major who enjoys romance novels. Continue reading
Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding. Entangled Teen, 2013. Available December 3.
Age Level & Genre: YA realistic fiction.
Face Value: I haven’t seen the published cover yet, but the cover image available online is pretty good (despite the partially beheaded girl). I love the tattooed title on the girl’s bicep. The significance of the placement of the tattoo comes up in the book as something meaningful for Kellie, so it’s nice to see that reflected in the cover image.
Does it break the slate? Absolutely. Kellie, her mother, and her sister are all Slatebreakers. Kellie’s mom quit her tedious job as a paralegal and became a tattoo artist who co-owns her own shop. Kellie and her sister are both smart and fiercely independent young women. And the whole novel has a sex positive tone, which is rare and wonderful.
Who would we give it to? This book will comfort anyone experiencing family drama – and around this time of year, isn’t that everyone? If you will be facing a relative who constantly gets on your nerves, reading about Kellie’s family negotiations may inspire you to be diplomatic during family holiday interactions. Continue reading
The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason. Chronicle Books, 2013. Currently Available
Genre: Historical Fiction / Steampunk / Alternative Fiction / Time Travel
Face Value: Oh HEY Twilight hands! It’s not that it isn’t a good concept – I’ve gone on record saying that I actually think the cover of Twilight is really well done. It’s just that by now it’s so recognizable that it’s become its own kind of cliché. But aside from that lazy choice, I like the cover. The scarab is the focal point, and intriguing, and it nicely reflects both the historical and steampunk content while still feeling contemporary.
Does it Break the Slate? The niece of Sherlock Holmes and the sister of Bram Stoker team up to fight crime? Of course it breaks the slate! Both of our protagonists are Slatebreakers in their own way, and this alternative history gives us a nice glimpse into a way that young women might have taken control of their own lives despite a repressive era.
Who would we give it to? Steampunk fans, mystery fans. While no particularly groundbreaking territory is covered in this book it is a sincerely enjoyable piece of storytelling. Continue reading
When We Wake by Karen Healey. Little, Brown and Company, 2013. Currently Available.
Genre: Science Fiction / Dystopia
Face Value: Oh. Another giant girl’s face looking creepily and vacantly out at the readers. Sure. I mean, the protagonis was cryogenically frozen after she died and was then brought back to life, so I suppose a frozen dead-eyed girl is not an inaccurate cover image. But it’s not a particularly exciting or interesting or unique one either.
Does it Break the Slate? Yes, absolutely. Karen Healey is a writer who makes very specific, conscientiously Slatebreaking choices in her writing. Tegan is a tough, smart protagonist who has to actively confront her privilege at multiple points in the narrative and, as in all of Healey’s books, the supporting characters represent a wide range of diversity in terms of race, class, religion and sexuality.
Who would we give it to? This is a totally solid addition to the recent Dystopian canon, and if you know readers who are looking to continue reading once they’ve exhausted the more well known books out there, this one is solidly worth recommending. It’s also to be commended for the commitment to a diverse cast of characters, which will certainly lend some reader appeal. Continue reading
My sister recently decided to do something bold. She planned a solo weekend trip to a city in another country. I am in awe of her independence. We’re both introverts, so I respect how much she has to put herself out there in order to complete this journey.
I have travelled on my own en route to many places, always to have someone waiting for me at my destination. I would love to take my own solo trip some day. No one waiting for me at the end – just me and any interesting people I may encounter along the way. All of this pondering about being a woman traveling the world inspired me to build this list of travel novels featuring Slatebreaking characters. In these stories, young women tackle travel adventures (some planned, and some unplanned) and show that they can face the unknown with confidence. Continue reading