I regularly read young adult fiction. The category draws me because I: love fantasy writing that isn’t bone-dry with super complicated worlds or languages, am an avid romantic who loves a traditional battle between good and evil, and was very lonely and lost at that age (I’m sure everyone was, but you know how you are an island at that age). Mostly, I think I am in a constant search for the teenager I wish I’d been. Teenager and hot mess are pretty much synonymous, I think, in most people’s experience of themselves a that age…at least the people I’m close with, but I have spent a good portion of my life wishing I had made drastically different choices.
Every once in a while I find a movie or book that hits me where I live; that reminds me of something I went through and longings thought successfully buried.
I just finished reading an amazing young adult book kissing snowflakes. Written by a dear friend of mine (her first book, the irritatingly talented woman!), Abby Sher, this book is phenomenal. Written in first person narrative, it is the story of 15-year-old Samantha’s winter break with her brother, father, and brand new step mom. Through fantastic inner monologue, we join Sam in dealing with resentment of her new family situation, social awkwardness, first real kiss, and decisions about drinking and sex.
I don’t have any children, but if I did, I would want my daughter to read this and then talk with her about it to open the door to future conversations about life decisions. I would want my son to read it to understand how girls think - *how everything boys say and do to them is replayed on a loop from the occurrence until God-knows-when in an effort to make sense of it and, therefore, ourselves. I would want my boyfriend or husband to read it (if I had one, shut up) to understand me better as a person (* insert here, replace ‘boys’ with ‘men’).
Abby captures the magic of winter beautifully. Set in
The tone of the book is straightforward, not at all cutesy, patronizing, or shallow. kissing snowflakes is not oversimplified or heavy-handed; it is complex and raw with a healthy balance of lightheartedness and vibrance, like every young woman I know…especially the one I carry with me every day.