Reviews by Tag: body image

Teen Review
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Holding Up the Universe

By Jennifer Niven
5
Rated by
Hannah K.
Oct 6, 2021

“You are wanted. Big, small, tall, short, pretty, plain, friendly, shy. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, not even yourself.”

Once famous for being “America’s Fattest Teen,” Libby Strout becomes the laughingstock of her high school. Struggling to get by, she unwantedly encounters Jack Masselin, getting them both tangled up in a mess of misunderstandings. However, when Jack uncovers to her that he has prosopagnosia, a condition in which he cannot recognize people’s faces, they are able to connect through embracing each other’s imperfections while also embracing their own.

Teen Review
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Holding Up the Universe

By Jennifer Niven
3
Rated by
Justyna H.
Oct 6, 2021

In the young adult novel Holding Up the Universe, Libby Strout and Jack Masselin live two separate lives with the same goals: to be wanted in society. Libby, formerly known as “America’s Fattest Teen” who was cut out from her house after a massive panic attack, and Jack, a high school boy living with Prosopagnosia, the inability to recognize faces, even the people he loves, come together through a demoralizing prank.

Teen Review
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Her Body and Other Parties

By Carmen Maria Machado
4
Rated by
Lisa J.
Oct 1, 2021

In this collection of eight short stories, author Carmen Maria Machado explores the lives of women through a journey into psychological realism, fantasy, horror, and more. In “The Husband Stitch”, a husband attempts to remove the green ribbon tied around his wife’s neck — her only secret. In “The Resident”, a writer has trouble reckoning with her childhood trauma while vacationing in isolation at an artists’ retreat. In “Especially Heinous”, the show Law and Order: SVU is reimagined with doppelgängers, insanity, and the ghosts of raped and murdered girls.

Teen Review
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Poet X

By Elizabeth Acevedo
4
Rated by
Hannah K.
Sep 10, 2021

15-year-old Xiomara Batista never felt heard from the people around her. Although she hated it, her body did all the talking. With an overly religious mother and the judging stares of other people, Xiomara felt trapped, unable to break free from her problems. Due to her overwhelming emotions, she turned to writing poetry to manage her feelings.

Teen Review

The Belles

By Dhonielle Clayton
3
Rated by
Olivia from Leawood Pioneer Library YAAC
Jul 18, 2018

In the world of Orleans, beauty is prized above all else, and the Belles control beauty. Camellia is one of the revered Belles. But it is not enough for her to just be a Belle, she has to be the favorite, the Belle chosen by the queen to live in the palace and tend to the royal family, the one recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once she arrives at court, she realizes being the favorite is not all she dreamed it would be. There are dark secrets in every corner, and soon she learns that she is far more powerful and dangerous than she ever imagined.

Staff Review Mar 9, 2016

Good, but not great. Published thirteen years ago, it doesn't quite hold up today. Ginny is unbelievably pathetic throughout most of the story, and only toward the Hollywood-like ending does she-surprise-develop some confidence. Normally I love pathetic people because I can relate to their insecurity, but Ginny's character is a tad too two-dimensional, not a fully fleshed out character worthy of my concern.

Staff Review Mar 9, 2016

Good, but not great. Published thirteen years ago, it doesn't quite hold up today. Ginny is unbelievably pathetic throughout most of the story, and only toward the Hollywood-like ending does she-surprise-develop some confidence. Normally I love pathetic people because I can relate to their insecurity, but Ginny's character is a tad too two-dimensional, not a fully fleshed out character worthy of my concern.

Staff Review

Dumplin'

By Julie Murphy
5
Rated by Becky C.
Oct 20, 2015

Full disclosure: I'm a middle-aged, married mom who's a teeny, tiny bit obsessed with teen fiction. Not that I'm a creeper or anything. But my teenage angst phase is more like a personality trait. I relate to people who feel uncomfortable and awkward. People who lack confidence and discipline. People who float through life like they haven't got a clue. More often than not, that's not adults. Something about growing up in our society makes people cocky. It changes people. It makes them think they're some kind of authority figure or expert on life. Not me. That's why I like teen fiction.

Staff Review

Dumplin'

By Julie Murphy
5
Rated by Becky C.
Oct 20, 2015

Full disclosure: I'm a middle-aged, married mom who's a teeny, tiny bit obsessed with teen fiction. Not that I'm a creeper or anything. But my teenage angst phase is more like a personality trait. I relate to people who feel uncomfortable and awkward. People who lack confidence and discipline. People who float through life like they haven't got a clue. More often than not, that's not adults. Something about growing up in our society makes people cocky. It changes people. It makes them think they're some kind of authority figure or expert on life. Not me. That's why I like teen fiction.

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