Saturday, April 24, 2010

Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz

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Published December 22nd 2009 by EgmontUSA
Hardcover, 272 pages
Genre- YA fiction
It really was a stupid thing that Brent Staple did – doing it (so the rumour goes) with Chris Sanchez, one of the guy cheerleaders. Who’d have thought that Brent, the school’s hottest jock, could be gay? But the doubt about Brent doesn’t just hurt Tara – it’s the beginning of the end for an inseparable trio of friends. Tara’s training for the marathon, but also running from her father and her fear of ever being abandoned again. Beautiful Whitney Blaire’s got everything and nothing, because her parents have never had time for her. And Pinkie has a compulsive need to mother everyone to make up for the mom she never stops missing. The girls couldn’t be more different, but doesn’t that just prove the strength of their friendship?

Then new-girl Riley arrives in school, wafting her long black hair and a scent of lilacs. Suddenly, Tara starts to feel things she’s never felt before for a girl - and to reassess her feelings about Brent and what he may/may not have done. Is Tara gay – or does she just love Riley? And can the map of her deepest friendships ever be redrawn in a post-Riley world?---Goodreads


There is a couple of things I really liked about this book. Let’s talk about the characters first. We have three very close friends Tara, the main character, Whitney Blaire, and Pinkie. All good characters with very distinct personalities. You have Tara who is determine, ambitious, and independent. Whitney Blaire, who is fashionable, popular, and deep down insecure about herself. And then we have Pinkie. I love Pinkie! She is honest, good, caring, faithful, naive and at time overprotective with her loved ones. The book is written in there three different point of views.


Self discovery is something that is explored throughout this whole book. I hate giving away spoilers but it’s hard to explain this book without giving away some major points. As you can tell from the catch phrase in the front of the book, this story is about “Three friends, One forbidden love affair.” Well as it turns out Tara is the one who ends up finding out that she is attracted to a new girl who has enrolled in school. She has never been attracted to anyone of the same sex before and so she has a hard time excepting the fact that she might be gay or bisexual. Now, I really hate using labels and this book is a great example why. As you read Tara’s POV you get to see her journey as she explores how she feels while coming to terms with the reality that she is in fact a person who can fall in love with the same sex. Let me explain what I mean about labels. Tara finally admits to herself that she is in love with a girl but when she is sitting around a table with other girls who prefer a relationships with the same sex she mentions the fact that she doesn’t feel gay. I think that was an eye opening point in the book because labels are so confining, restrictive and limited. I mean when people hear the word “gay” the first thing that pops into their head is the sexual orientation. But gay or not we all have many different qualities and traits plus, feelings, insecurities, and fallibilities because we are all human.


Well I think I said more then I intended but at least you can see what I got out of this book. There is still many more things going on in the story with Tara’s relationship with her boyfriend and disappearance of her dad. Pinkie’s attractions to a mentor and Whitney Blair’s relationship with her parents and how it is the driving force of her destructive behavior. This is a well rounded story with realistic characters. I recommend this book to older teens and adults who is looking for a story to take them into a fascinating journey through a young woman’s self discovery.
 
Quote:
"I never thought this would happen to me. Riley says she was born gay. But I never liked girls before I met Riley."
Mom reaches over and squeezes my hand. "So maybe you're someone who falls in love with a person, not a gender."
Sex-o-meter: There are some make out and sex scenes. If I had to chose between minimal, moderate, and extreme content I would concider these scenes moderate based on the history of books I have read. 
Drug-o-meter: There is a underage drinking at a party.
Rating-

2 comments:

  1. Very true, labels restrict us all. I'm glad you enjoyed this book. Great review!

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  2. Haven't heard of this book. Sounds like you really enjoyed it. Sweet quote. :)

    ReplyDelete