This has been an interesting reading week as well as I've read an amazing F. Scott Fitzgerald short story, Babylon Revised, for class, one new release YA that I found I didn't love, and my current read, Who's That Girl by Blair Thornburgh, which is absolutely phenomenal, and I can't wait to publish an article for it later in October.
Then, of course, there's prepping for Texas Teen Book Festival in Austin which is now less than two weeks away. Along with posting a recap of the events, I've been working on scheduling a special series of reviews for the books I acquire at the festival so everyone can see those special reviews as soon as possible. Also, make sure you come back September 30 to hear about some super exciting October events that I can't wait to share with everyone. But, for now, enjoy this review for an awesome book I couldn't wait to read since I found out about it on Twitter in May along with the other articles I published this week.
Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor (327 pages)
Overview: Reggie struggles with depression. As she tries to contend with the constantly cycling effects of depression, her mother's fanatical religious views, and the feeling of emptiness her past relationships have left in her life, she meets a new boy at the pharmacy that shakes up the course of her life in a way she could never have expected. Reggie and Snake are starting to get to know each other better when Reggie discovers that Snake is having a baby with the school's little Ms. Perfect, Carla Banks. While Reggie works through the emotions of falling for Snake she also fears the eminent spiral of when everything goes wrong. Can she let go and allow herself to enjoy this new love, or will her fear of abandonment force her to continue shutting the world out? Overall: 4.8
Characters: 5 Reggie and Snake are both teens who suffer from depression. They both go to therapy and use medication to help manage their symptoms, but they still, of course, must contend with their symptoms and how they make them feel and act. Because of that, they understand each other in a way that others can't whether they try like Snake's moms or Reggie's dad, or they see the mental illness as a disease or parasite to be ashamed of like Reggie's mom. This gives them a connection that is near instant. The other characters compliment the two on their journeys together.
Plot: 4.5 The plot was interesting and equal parts focused on character evolution and the events of the story. It held my attention and kept me turning the pages which is what you want out a plot.
Writing: 4.8 For the most part, I loved what Taylor did with the book and the voice of Reggie. It felt authentic to the character, and she shaped the other characters well through Reggie's eyes. The reduced fraction of a point was due to a problem that came through in a few places: at times the cynic sarcasm (which I generally loved) felt forced. Also, Taylor seemed unsure if we would understand some of the sarcasm, resorting to over explaining which manifested in repeated instances that looked something like this: "Snake's declaration of being 'but a pebble in the sand,' with a girl who hated him (see: me) almost as much as she hated herself." The reader could fully understand that the author meant Reggie from previous explanation. This happens on almost every other page, some is in reference to something obvious others is to define sarcasm that could just be italicized. Otherwise, I liked her writing and the voice a lot.