Wednesday, September 28, 2011

RTW: September Love

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic:

What was the best book you read in September?

Off the September TBR list:

Boy Toy by Barry Lyga

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Perfect by Ellen Hopkins

By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Ann Peters

Teach Me by R.A. Nelson

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (currently reading)

So, I feel like I've been repeating myself all week, but the best book this month...

I'm giving away a copy of it in support of Banned Books Week (click here!), and I wrote a poem (yeah, I know - WTH?!) about it as part of my Second Campaigner's Challenge that I'm reposting below. I had to use some strange new vocabulary and was only allowed 200 words (jeez), but hopfully it will somewhat sum up it's fabulousness.

Shatter the Imago: Review of Perfect

Four seniors, mirroring parental expectation
Four lives, intertwining, paralleled
but not in synchronicity
Related by events
Raw urges.
Desires to break the mold

Cara—raised in toxic miasma,
parental vapors reeking of unattainable expectation.
She’s with Sean.
But prefers Dani(elle)

Is it better to be dead to yourself
Or alive with someone else?

Kendra—beautiful, thin
Too thin
Size two is not enough
Starvation seems the only road to her perfection

Sean—the pressure
Scholarships, baseball
Be the best
Can steroids bridge the high school-Stanford lacuna?

Dancer hiding in parental ambition’s shadow
Fortune 500 is the future
Mom, Dad? Will you ever understand?
To thine own self be true?

Perfect is raw, edgy
Emotion explodes off the page

Choking tears, I oscitate
Yearn to reach through the pages
Save Cara from Sean
Save Andre from his parents
Save Kendra from herself

sexual identity

Ellen covers it all
She gets it
She gets them

Teens pressured
By family, friends
To be “perfect”

Perfect conveys the exhilaration
and the consequences of striving to live up
to imagos formed from birth

And being who you are
instead of who you’re expected to be

Perfect is Impulse #2, but is more of a companion novel than a sequel (so you don't have to read the first to follow the second!). And while Impulse is still my favorite Ellen Hopkins novel, Perfect runs a very close second.

And had I not read Perfect this month, Boy Toy would definitely have ranked #1. The fabulous Katy Upperman recommended it to me and it was mind-blowing. Allow me to share the Good Reads blurb.

A riveting and disturbing novel about a seventh-grade boy who has a very adult relationship with his female teacher. Josh Mendel has a secret. Unfortunately, everyone knows what it is. Five years ago, Josh's life changed. Drastically. And everyone in his school, his town-seems like the world-thinks they understand. But they don't-they can't. And now, about to graduate from high school, Josh is still trying to sort through the pieces. First there's Rachel, the girl he thought he'd lost years ago. She's back, and she's determined to be part of his life, whether he wants her there or not. Then there are college decisions to make, and the toughest baseball game of his life coming up, and a coach who won't stop pushing Josh all the way to the brink. And then there's Eve. Her return brings with it all the memories of Josh's past. It's time for Josh to face the truth about what happened. If only he know what the truth was...

Three words: Intense. Erotic. Genius.

(I had you on erotic, didn't I?)

Seriously an awesome read. I will never understand why the Mary Kay Letourneau's of the world do what they do, but Boy Toy definitely gives insight into the head of the victim and the overwhelming impact the "relationship" can have, even years later.

So, what's the best book YOU read in September?!

And don't forget to enter my Banned Book Giveaway. And...AND we're still giving away ARCs and agent critiques over at YA Confidential! Check it out!


  1. Oh wow, both of these sound awesome. Thanks for the rec, Alison! I will definitely enter the giveaway. :)

  2. I LOVE your Challenge #2 poem!

    And yay for BOY TOY! It always sort of freaks me out to recommend books I've really enjoyed, so I'm glad you liked this one. Definitely intense, isn't it? And a FANTASTIC male POV!

  3. I read some really great books in September...I can't choose!

    But I think I'll have to add both those to my list. :)

  4. Love the poetic review!

    I've been meaning to read Twenty Boy Summer forever--maybe this Banned Books Week is a good time to pull it off the TBR.

  5. Great recommendations! Both of these books look like intense reads. Adding to my mental TBR list!

  6. So glad I stopped by and got these great recommendations! These seem more adult than YA, but it seems YA's are living more adult lives...

    Currently, I decided to go back in time and am just finishing up Judy Blume's "Blubber"; it resonated with me in 5th grade and still does!

    Are you into the "classics"?

    Thanks for an awesome post...

  7. I just added "Boy Toy" to my TBR list - I'd never heard of it before, but sounds raw and painful, definitely my kind of book!

  8. Ah, I love BOY TOY, such a great book. I haven't read PERFECT yet, but it's on my list!

  9. Great poem Allison! That sounds like a great book. It's on my list but I haven't read it yet. Oh, and thanks for the Boy Toy recommendation. I keep seeing it but haven't bought it yet. It sounds really good.

  10. Nice touch with the poem. I like it. I wrote a poem in response to Mockingjay, and if it wasn't so long, I'd post it on my blog. I may do that've inspired me. :)

    And I think I may need to read Boy Toy now. It sounds intriguing.

  11. Now that was the coolest post I've read so far today.

  12. Love your poem-- and I haven't read these, but they sound pretty cool. Hopkins is great at what she does.

  13. Damn you, Alison. *add titles to Goodreads*

  14. Wow, those sound pretty intense--how could you even read any of those other books after those?

  15. Okay, that' was amazing. What a perfect way to review an Ellen Hopkins book--even more perfect because it makes me want to read it. You've got a gift, Alison.


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