Categories
Books Young Adult

The Odyssey of Falling by Paige Crutcher #PaigeCrutcher @PCrutcher @SamiJoLien

You might remember a few days ago that I highlighted The Odyssey of Falling by Paige Crutcher.

Odyssey of Falling

Here’s a blurb to refresh your memory:

Meet Odd. Audrey “Odd” Ashworth is an exceptionally bright girl with a sympathetic heart. She’s in the top 4% of her class. She’s obsessed with getting into Manhattan School of Music, committed to following the “signs” the universe delivers, and infatuated with her recently deceased best friend’s boyfriend.

Life is a little strange for Odd.

Until she finds her best friend’s diary in her crush’s car, and decides to do the bucket list tucked inside the pages. As Odd seeks closure and a way to honor her friend, she discovers there’s nothing wrong with being a little strange, especially if it helps you discover who you were meant to be. Along the way, Odd falls into trouble, adventure, and finally love.

I’ll be honest; I wasn’t sure what to think about another teen suicide book. But Odyssey is strangely different. In a good way, though.  I don’t agree with crushing on your besties boyfriend. I especially think it’s kinda creepy when your bestie is dead. But then again, what do I know? It’s never happened to me.

Audrey and her classmates have all sorts of adventures (insert sarcasm) as they struggle to survive the next year of school after Meredith’s death. The most interesting and admittedly, confusing, part of the book is when Audrey tries drugs. The gang is at a party and Audrey “accidentally” (insert more sarcasm) drinks some kind of drug laced with something even stronger.  What follows are a few funny but trippy chapters as Audrey hits her first high.

It was enlightening, not that I condone drug use, but smart girl Audrey trying to make sense of the nonsensical made me giggle. Reminds me of that scene from Perks of Being a Wallflower when what’s his name eats the brownies.

How interesting to follow your friend’s bucket list; I wonder how many people could get through mine?

Do you have a bucket list?

Hey Paige: If you’re ever in the Philly area, look me up. We can have a coffee and swap bucket lists!  Check Paige out at:

Author Links below:

Author Website
Twitter  @PCrutcher
LinkedIn
Goodreads
Amazon
Virtual Tour Page 

Paige

Hey is that an Andrew Smith book back there????

Categories
Banned Books

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom To Read

All this week I’ll be celebrating banned books week by highlighting challenged or banned books. Why is banned books week important? According to the American Library Association (of which I’m a member),

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

As a parent, you have a right to decide what your own children should be exposed to, but I strongly believe that you do not have the right to dictate what other children have access to. So, let’s celebrate the books that have been challenged and see if you’ve read any of them and you can make the decision for yourself. Each day of Banned Books Week I’ll highlight several of the titles that were challenged or banned last year. Let’s see how they stack up. Also? This is a blog hop so I’ll giveaway a $10 Amazon gift card to the winner!

Let’s examine two wildly popular titles today:

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

perks of being a wallflower

I love this tiny book so hard. First because it is set in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA and second because the setting is the 80s which is also when I grew up, although the author is a couple years younger than I am. Our experiences are kind of similar: no cell phones, record players, pac man and hairspray to name a few.  This is a coming of age tale that is beautifully told about the man character who suffers from some dangerous mental health issues.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

I am a tad confused about why books about teens and intended for teens should be completely sterile. Kids want to read about situations that are similar to what they are experiencing; at least when they are reading realistic fiction, right? So why then, do people insist on challenging books that  “…deals with sexual situations and drug use.” ?

Again, this is a title you should read for yourself.

 

Another wildly popular book is

Looking for Alaska by John Green

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This is by far my fave John Green book.

Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

Oh how this title reminds me of some of the books we read in high school: the what’s it all about and how do i make a difference in this world type of books!

The book was challenged because of sexual content.  Again. Teens, experimenting with sex. It’s what they do, right?  This one, however, is rather mild considering what I’ve read in other books.  It’s a botched BJ and while that might not be appropriate material for young teens or even middle grade readers, I guarantee your older teen has read worse. Or heard worse on the bus. Check it out for yourself before you pass judgement. As always, parents have a right to decide what’s best for their own kiddos, just not for everyone.

What are your thoughts on these two?

 

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Categories
Adult Fiction Banned Books Books Young Adult

#BBW Why were these the 10 most challenged/banned books?

Here’s an old post about banned books that I found interesting and STILL RELEVANT.

As an aspiring librarian and avid children’s book lover, I don’t condone banning books.

In the past I have published a list of banned books from 1990 – 2000 and I highlighted the books that I had read. Recently, one of my readers gave me the newest list which I just HAD to share portions of.

The reasons for the challenge and my comments follow:

  • Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling (promotes witchcraft, too dark)
  • Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (sexual content and offensive language)
  • The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier (nudity, sexually explicit, offensive language)
  • And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell (homosexuality)
  • Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck (racist, profanity)
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou (racism, sexual content)
  •  Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz (occult, violence)
  • His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman (anti religious content)
  •  TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Myracle, Lauren (Sexually explicit, offensive language, drugs)
  •  The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky (homosexuality, sexually explicit, drugs, suicide)

I have read the titles in bold and my Pumpkin just finished and loved The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Perks has just been made into a movie and is currently also on many summer reading lists in my area.  I’m sure it’ll get more challenges as more people become aware of it.  I’ll prolly never read  Scary Stories because I’m a big chicken and don’t like to be scared. Smile.

So…according to those who challenge books, children should not read books that contain witchcraft or the occult, contain racism, talk about sex, drug use, suicide, homosexuality, are anti religious, violent, or use profanity.  So what does that leave kids left to read?  Nothing much, really.  Hey, even Capt Underpants has been challenged!

I will refrain from arguing against censorship because if you are reading this you probably feel, like me, that information wants to be free.  Nor do I want to talk about parenting and how you should only censor YOUR children, not everyone else’s.  Do not get me wrong, I am not anti religion or anti family or anti anything else.  Number 1 son says I am anti discrimination. Yeah.

Marshall University is a great resource for banned books (http://www.marshall.edu/library/bannedbooks/default.asp), check them out. You can also go right to the source and visit The American Library Association’s website for a complete listing.

What are your feelings about banning books?