Aside from helping pump up my Goodreads numbers quickly, the thing that’s great about reading YA books is realizing how lucky kids are to have these stories, when I wish I could have.
When I was mired in self doubt and body shame in my teens, I wish I’d have Julie Murphy’s books. The closest I had was a terrible novel called Life In The Fat Lane, about a pretty popular girl who got a thyroid condition who’s entire life was ruined when she gained twenty pounds.
Yes, you can imagine how a chubby insecure 14 year old reacted to that one.
Life In The Fat Lane is exactly the kind of book the ladies of Dumplin’ and Puddin’ would throw on a bonfire at one of their sleepovers and dance around the flames while singing, “Here You Come Again” at the top of their lungs.
Millie and Callie, the dueling narrators of Puddin’ like Willowdean before them don’t take crap. They’re different about it, of course. Sweet as pie Millie smiles and kills with kindness, while Callie, a recovering mean girl just shuts people down. They make a wonderful team, and their story of finding friendship and happiness after an adolescence full of disconnection and discomfort is really really wonderful.
Seriously, I’m loving my YA run. There’s more to come, of course, but for now, I’m jumping into some adult based stuff with Farewell Dorthy Parker, by Ellen Meister. I’m letting a ghost back in, but it’s a silly ghost.