*blog makes cricket noises from lack of posting*
*Hannah smashes crickets*
Natalie: Blame school.
Hannah: Seriously. And blame college applications.
Natalie: Basically, we have a lot of excuses.
Hannah: We're bad bloggers.
Natalie: Sorry about that. You can hate us if you want to.
Hannah: But to make up for it (and hopefully make you hate us less), we have a double book discussion today!
Natalie: On to the discussions!
Natalie: One of the panels we really enjoyed at the Decatur Book Festival was the Love is Love Panel. This panel discussed LGBT in YA books.
Hannah: There were two authors, Sara Farizan and David Levithan. They both discussed their latest books (until it started storming).
Natalie: If You Could Be Mine is Sara's fantastic debut novel:
In this stunning debut, a young Iranian American writer pulls back the curtain on one of the most hidden corners of a much-talked-about culture. Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love—Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed if their relationship came to light. So they carry on in secret—until Nasrin’s parents announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that they can go on as they have been, only now with new comforts provided by the decent, well-to-do doctor Nasrin will marry. But Sahar dreams of loving Nasrin exclusively—and openly. Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution. In Iran, homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman’s body is seen as nature’s mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and accessible. As a man, Sahar could be the one to marry Nasrin. Sahar will never be able to love the one she wants, in the body she wants to be loved in, without risking her life. Is saving her love worth sacrificing her true self?
(Cover and synopsis from Goodreads)
Hannah: This book was really unique.
Natalie: We've never read anything like it before.
Hannah: It was cool that it was set in a different country and we got to learn about their culture.
Natalie: The book deals with two lesbian best friends and it was interesting to see how a different culture handled it.
Hannah: The characters were my favorite part of the book. They were very likable.
*Hannah takes a break to play FreeFlow*
Natalie: Apparently it's my turn to talk...
I really liked the characters too. They were very real and convincing. I felt bad for them and their situation, but they were also able to lighten the mood through humor.
Hannah: It was great to have characters that made you laugh with them and then made your heart break a little bit for them.
Natalie: We don't want to say too much about the plot because we don't want to spoil it, but it was a beautiful story with amazing writing that captured our attention and emotions.
Hannah: We were so glad to be able to meet Sara and we highly highly recommend her book.
New York Times bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.
While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.
(Cover and synopsis from Goodreads)
Hannah: At the Love is Love panel, David Levithan said that he tried to write the stereotypical David Levithan novel, or something like that. It's been a while since that panel, so excuse our memories. Anyway, it totally worked. Two Boys Kissing was absolutely amazing.
Natalie: We both read it during the car ride home from Decatur. And we both loved it.
Hannah: It was short and sweet, like all David Levithan books. This one is tied with Love is the Higher Law for my favorite of his books.
Natalie: It tackles many social issues in a raw, open way.
Hannah: The best part was the omniscient narrator. I love books with omniscient narrators and it seems like there aren't enough.
Natalie: All of the characters are real, flawed, and believable.
Hannah: Basically, go read this book now. Or else...