Fact: I don't like coffee. I just like saying Coffee Clutch in my best and deepest New York accent. Considering I'm a New Yorker, I'm pretty freaking good at it. So I've got my tea and I hope you have your heated beverage of choice, because it's time to gab the day away.
Every now and again I'll read a book that I can REALLYREALLYREALLY relate to. There'll be this personal connection that either makes me smirk or sob or nod at every page. Usually it's because I've gone through something the character(s) in the book have gone through. Or maybe it's because I've felt the way the character(s) in the book felt, even if that feeling was caused by something completely different.
I've actually had this happen to me with 3 books over the last couple of months:
1. Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
I actually wrote Leila an e-mail because I nodded at the whole friend break-up aspect of this book. Friend break-ups truly suck. They're confusing and depressing, even if said break-ups make sense or truly need to happen for one reason or another. It's all very stressful and unhappy. Which is annoying because I've gone through quite a few.
2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
This book's main character could have been named Gaby. Even though I don't have a twin and, as far as I know, no REALLY CUTE, understanding guys named Levi crushed on me in college. But, like, whoa Cath and I have a lot in common. I was a serious shut in in college. Like, my friends stopped inviting my places because they didn't think I'd want to come. By the time I hit the middle of sophomore year I wanted to transfer so badly. And I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever really admitted how close I came to acting on that desire. In the end, fear kept me where I was. Which I feel also fits with this book. So. Yeah. Cath, we should be friends. Or not. Because, like, no one needs a shut in enabler.
3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Again, no cute boys and definitely not Paris, but I totally, entirely and completely understand being in a complicated friend situation. (Sans the romance, of course. Why is my life always sans the romance and cute boys?)
I feel like I can talk more about number 2 (and I probably will when I get to writing my Fangirl review) because it's my story and only my story. But numbers 1 and 3 involve interactions with other people and I just can't. But both hit me hard and both made me think about my choices when I was in those situations. Actually, all three made me thing about my choices when I was in those situations. They make me wonder if I made the right choices and they made me wish I'd had those books when I WAS going through those situations. They could have been like guidebooks for me, y'know?
|Jennifer Lawrence gets it.|
And I think that's how these authors know they've done a good job with the writing. (Or at least that's how I know these authors have done a good job with the writing.)
But it's also how I (and everyone else) should know that YA is so incredibly relevant to the age group it's meant for (because I really, really, really could have at the very least used Anna and the French Kiss much earlier in my life) but also how relevant it is to me NOW, as a 23 year-old. Do I think/know adult fiction isn't relevant for me, too? No. I don't. But right now, my personality requires YA to help me untangle my brain. It's also wonderful at cheering me up, making me laugh, tugging the heart strings, making me all nostalgic, reminding me to be happy a bad part of my life is over or will be soon and a whole bunch of other really good things.
So, do me a favor and take a second to think of a book or two that REALLY resonated with you. Jot them down in the comments below. You don't have to say why. I'd just like to know. Maybe they could be good for someone else too!