ARC Review: Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz @hannahmosk

22456945 Release Date: March 3, 2015

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: YA Contemporary / LGBT

Format: eARC (304 pages)

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Rating: 5 stars

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Etta is tired of dealing with all of the labels and categories that seem so important to everyone else in her small Nebraska hometown.

Everywhere she turns, someone feels she’s too fringe for the fringe. Not gay enough for the Dykes, her ex-clique, thanks to a recent relationship with a boy; not tiny and white enough for ballet, her first passion; and not sick enough to look anorexic (partially thanks to recovery). Etta doesn’t fit anywhere— until she meets Bianca, the straight, white, Christian, and seriously sick girl in Etta’s therapy group. Both girls are auditioning for Brentwood, a prestigious New York theater academy that is so not Nebraska. Bianca seems like Etta’s salvation, but how can Etta be saved by a girl who needs saving herself? 

The latest powerful, original novel from Hannah Moskowitz is the story about living in and outside communities and stereotypes, and defining your own identity.

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This is, without a doubt, a very moving book. It’s not only diverse with characters from different ethnic backgrounds, but it deals with a multitude of problems that are heavy among our society. I say problems because there are a ton of small-minded people in this world who can’t seem to grasp that everything isn’t evil, and more who find bullying to be some sort of sport. To make Etta Sinclair so much more than a cliche is a Godsend to someone, somewhere. These issues are heavily among us, and we, as the human race, need to take action because not all the stories end with survivors to tell their story. 

Etta Sinclair is an African-American teen who has never wanted for anything a day in her life, except be normal. What is normal? She loves to dance and hopes to get out of Nebraska and never look back. Being bisexual among her lesbian friends is hard enough, but when those said friends turn into bullies because she dates a guy, it’s like living in hell. On top of that, she is still recovering from an eating disorder, which she is doing remarkably well with. It’s like, the moment she started dating a guy, the world turned against her. She’s not gay enough for the Dykes, her ex-friends, and she’s not straight enough for the rest of society to deem her worthy of living her life to the fullest. She has dreams of New York and theater, and being herself to her heart’s content. 

Bianca is another lost teen, still battling her eating disorder and her religious beliefs. She is not homophobic and just wants to be okay with her brother, Jamie, and his obvious reality that he is gay. She and Etta find strength in each other to get through auditions for Brentwood, a prestigious theater academy. While battling the bullies at school and trying to keep herself from exploding, can Etta be a friend to Bianca and help her through tough times if she is barely holding on herself? Their friendship really touched me because I just pictured this tiny girl with the weight of the world on her shoulders, just trying to find herself and get better. 

Okay, enough ranting. This is a great book to read. I’ve never read anything from Hannah before, but I will definitely put her down for previous and future books alike. I highly recommend this book!!!

5 STARS download (3)

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2 thoughts on “ARC Review: Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz @hannahmosk

  1. Wow. This book looks like the characters have a lot of issues to deal with. It sounds appropriately angsty, emotional, and interesting. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

    Like

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