Exit, Pursued by a Bear: E.K. Johnston
Published: March 15th 2016 by: Dutton BFYR
Genres: YA, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary
Format: ebook Source: Library
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Veronica Mars meets William Shakespeare in E.K. Johnston’s latest brave and unforgettable heroine.
Hermione Winters is captain of her cheerleading team, and in tiny Palermo Heights, this doesn’t mean what you think it means. At PHHS, the cheerleaders don’t cheer for the sports teams; they are the sports team—the pride and joy of a tiny town. The team’s summer training camp is Hermione’s last and marks the beginning of the end of…she’s not sure what. She does know this season could make her a legend. But during a camp party, someone slips something in her drink. And it all goes black.
In every class, there’s a star cheerleader and a pariah pregnant girl. They’re never supposed to be the same person. Hermione struggles to regain the control she’s always had and faces a wrenching decision about how to move on. The assault wasn’t the beginning of Hermione Winter’s story and she’s not going to let it be the end. She won’t be anyone’s cautionary tale.
I’m so glad that there are stories out there in the YA genre that focus on important topics, such as rape. Hermione is indeed an unforgettable heroine, in light of what happened to her. However, I feel like this story kind of missed the mark in places. Maybe it’s just me, but I wanted it to broaden beyond what Hermione thought of herself and the ending just stopped. I know that victims of rape aren’t the same and they cope differently. I admire Hermione for not letting what happened to her stop her from going all the way. She showed incredible strength about the whole situation and girls need that positivity more than anything. I think the cheerleading aspect took away something important from this story, and I wasn’t expecting for the conclusion to just end on that note. And again, Hermione went out on her terms, so it was kind of bitter sweet. This is an incredible story of bravery and adversity that not many authors can pull off with such a strong subject. Even with the little things that irked me, I can’t deny the importance of this story. Please, if you have any room left on your TBR, ADD THIS BOOK. You will not be disappointed.
Detached: Christina Kilbourne
Publication: August 13th 2016 by: Dundurn Press
Genres: YA, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Mental Health
Format: eARC Source: Publisher via Netgalley
My Rating: 3 Stars
Anna has always been so level-headed, so easy-going, so talented and funny. How could anyone have guessed she wanted to die?
Anna is not like other people. For one thing, she’s been an accomplished artist since she was a preschooler. For another, she’s always felt like she didn’t belong: not with other kids, not with her family, not in her body. It isn’t until her grandparents are killed in a tragic accident, however, that Anna starts to feel untethered. She begins to wonder what it would be like if she didn’t exist and the thought of escaping the aimless drifting is the only thing that brings her comfort.
When Anna overdoses on prescription pain killers the doctors realize she has been suffering from depression and start looking for a way to help her out of the desperate black hole she never thought she would escape. It’s then that rock bottom comes into sight and the journey back to normal begins.
You all know that I love all things mental health. And a few of you know that I suffer from depression myself, so I will always seek out books that are centered around that more than others. Detached is really well developed, in terms of the protagonists illness and the subsequent effects of her state of mind. The author did an amazing job detailing Anna’s thoughts and actions, and you are really inside her head the whole time. Reading the description helps you a little with her character development, but not enough to really know EVERYTHING about her. I wanted to know more about her relationships than the little sketches that Anna gave us. For such an important topic, this lacked a lot of precedent circumstances that needed to make you really get the beginning of Anna’s plummet. Still, I really like the extent the author went to show just how badly depression is and that it needs to be seen more clearly. It’s real and scary for all involved, not just the person it is happening to. I enjoyed reading this book, I just wish that it had more to show. Still, definitely recommend for readers of YA fiction, focused on mental health.