Location: FIC HOP
Genre: Dark, hard, and not easy- suicide and homosexuality are the topics for this one...
Should we address issues of suicide, do we want books that are full of anger, hatred, bigotry. Or do we face these issues, hear the voices even if we don't like them, or if they make us uncomfortable.
Should I offer this book to my 13-14 yr old students who struggle to often figure themselves out without chucking a book at them that just piles confusion and anger and big hard difficult ideas at them.
Can we just be without all this crap in our face about how brutal we are to each other and ourselves- or do we shout that we are, so we can understand and journey...
I don't know...
Life has a habit of letting down Matthew Turner. He may be a senior with decent grades, and he may have a hot girlfriend, but just about everything else in his life is a mess. When his younger brother committed suicide, Matthew's fragile faith in any possibility of a higher power was hopelessly crushed. Since his brother's death, Matthew has witnessed his parents' lives implode. His mother is drinking but still clings to her religion. His father, always more dedicated to the high school team he coaches than his family, has rekindled a love affair with a former girl friend.
Just when Matthew needs the love and support of his own girl friend, she is withdrawing from their relationship and focusing on a new youth pastor hired at her church. Matthew's therapist tries to provide helpful advice, but Matthew is just going through the motions.
When a bold girl named Alexa offers to listen and also admits that she hopes he will leave Hayden for her, Matthew begins to rely on her friendship and is surprised to find himself physically attracted to her as well. Maybe her freshness is just what he needs to be able to come to terms with his brother's death and his broken family. Whether or not he buys into the ideas of religion, faith, and prayer, he must find some way to forgive himself and the others who have let him down.
"This was a very intense book. The topics of religion, suicide, homosexuality are controversial but the Ellen Hopkins has a way of really getting in there and bringing new light to the controversy. I love the way she doesn't avoid writing about these topics. Teen fiction is all over the place and most teens avoid Ellen partly because of the writing style and due to the books being too real. I wish more parents and other adults would read these books and encourage teens to read these. Sometimes reading about real life would be a great lesson"- Christina