I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
I really loved the beginning of this book. It felt raw and real and dealt with adult-type things in a teen-like way. It was great. The language was sharp and funny and insightful. Once you get about a quarter of the way in it starts becoming more cliche and forced. I figured out the plot pretty quickly, yet it continues to rely on that plot as if the reader doesn’t know what’s coming. It was enjoyable, and some of the images stuck with me, but generally something I’d skim instead of get deeply into.
Read it if you’re generally a fan of YA lit or if you are compelled by stories about artists.
P.S. I would be zero percent shocked if this gets made into a movie in a few years.
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Pleasant read. Which is weird to say about a book where a woman is raped and her teenage son tries to figure out who committed the crime and how to deal with it.
It was good, I read it, I enjoyed it. But now that I’m here writing about it I feel a little… less impressed. Things don’t line up as well, consequences for the characters are all over the place, the sense of what made the difference in their lives is kind of… poof. Not because I don’t remember but because it seemed a little outrageous.
But it’s good. The dialogue is strong. The sentences are strong. You’ll read it and like it as long as you’re not to invested in consequences or PTSD or a foundation for moral ambiguity.
It’s good for poolside or light reading. It’s great for teenagers or people who aren’t familiar with narratives dealing with Native Americans. It’s a good start, for sure. It’s a good insight into the laws Native Americans are dealing with regularly, particularly women. I just don’t know that through the eyes and “justice” of a 13-year-old-boy is the best way to go about it.