For my thoughts, go to: Confessions of a Book Freak
Beauty of the Broken is such an appropriate title for this intense story.
The blurb pretty much sums up this book:
'In this lyrical, heart-wrenching story about a forbidden first love, a teen seeks the courage to care for another girl despite her small town’s bigotry and her father’s violent threats.'
except its so much more than that! Mara seems so real (and completely and utterly bizarre) and she is going through hell. Her father is a monster, she has mixed feeling about whether she should love someone like him, or feel ashamed. Her mother isn't much better but is trying to make alright a terrible situation. Her brother is beyond complicated, with so many mixed emotions its hard to contemplate. Her home is filled with complete whack-jobs. Bigots, the worst kind of whack-jobs.
This story was painful, cringe worthy and occasionally disgusting but it was also beautiful, soulful and filled with such passion that it was breath taking. Beauty of the broken is taking the whole YA genre to a new extreme. Its all about discovery, Not just about who is Mara, but her sexuality, her morals, her values, her will, her beliefs and religion, what God means to her verses what he means to everyone else. It was a truly beautiful and completely bizarre story. The other characters aren't just page fillers either, they have their own unique and interesting histories and opinions, their diverse, some are wonderful and some are cruel.
(I loved Henry. I was worried about him being a cliche character, but he wasn't he was such an individual, and even if he was cliche, his dad alone would of separated him into a category of his own!! what a quirky trait, i wonder how the author thought of it?)
The writing was incredible. absolutely beautify. Lyrical i believe would be a more apt term.
The only complaint i would have (besides the very weird beginning which almost made me put the book down - i recommend reading past it, it gets better) is the open ending. Yea i can picture what would happen afterwards, but i would have preferred the author to write something, letting us know. I'm hoping for a happy ending, but
with poor Mara's luck who bloody knows?
3.5 stars. I almost feel like i should maybe give 4, this book is worth 4 stars, but for me i believe 3.5 is a better fit, maybe because of the topic's covered? it was painful to read, but I'm glad it was covered. It's such authentic topic and was pictured so vividly in this book, something i believe teenagers will appreciate while reading. something they may be able (unfortunately) be able to relate to in certain families. Hopefully it won't make them feel so alone.
The book was also weird as fuck on occasion as well, which may contribute to my rating. I feel 4 stars should go to an enjoyable read, something that made me feel uplifted. This was great, but uplifting it is not.
I'll be looking out for more book written by Tawni Waters, who is an incredible author. Kudos for doing such a fantastic job, where most people would shy away from such topics.
Trigger/Content Warnings are meant to announce the presence of content that might illicit a strong or potentially harmful emotional response. They are used for things like rape, incest, blood, and animal death. Demanding that authors warn readers about characters' sexual orientations, certain kinds of sexuality, or non-binary genders, etc in the same way we treat traumatizing things like rape implies they are equally damaging, when they are ABSOLUTELY NOT!
Trigger/Content Warnings were not meant to be used as a laundry list of content that readers' dislikes and demand authors warn them away from. Not liking to read about oral sex, or not being interested in reading about lesbians is not remotely the same as wanting to avoid being trigger by graphic violence or pedophilia. It's insulting to ever put these things on the same level.
An author writing in a genre you don't like has no obligation to inform you away from their work if it doesn't contain anything harmful.
If you suffer from the misconception that everyone is cis, heterosexual and monogamous unless they explicitly state otherwise that's YOUR problem. You have no right to demand other people accommodate your ignorance.
Today, a racist sexist homophobic rape apologist who called a woman of colour a "savage" and implied she shouldn't be surprised if she was shot was just nominated for a Hugo Award.
Say No To Vox Day.
Read more on Bibliodaze.
Author Alex Dally MacFarlane wrote a great piece on Tor.com called Post-Binary Gender in SF: Introduction. In it she calls for "an end to the default of binary gender in science fiction stories." It's a really fascinating article, I highly recommend reading it.
Unfortunately, MacFarlane's article upset fellow author Larry Correia, who felt the need to post a detailed rant about how such excessive demands would destroy the very foundation of the Sci Fi genre. *heavy sigh*
Here is one of the more choice quotes from his rant:
"If you can’t stomach the comments long enough to hear what a typical WorldCon voter sounds like, let me paraphrase: 'Fantastic! I’m so sick of people actually enjoying books that are fun! Let’s shove more message fiction down their throats! My cause comes before their enjoyment! Diversity! Gay polar bears are being murdered by greedy corporations! Only smart people who think correct thoughts like I do should read books and I won’t be happy until my genre dies a horrible death! Yay!' (and if there is beeping noise in the background, that’s because they’re backing up their mobility scooter).
So let’s break this pile of Gender Studies 101 mush down into its component bits and see just why some sci-fi writers won’t be happy until their genre dies completely."
I'm not going to link to his rant, because I don't want to give him any hit counts. However, Jim C. Hines posted a fabulous dissection of Correia's ignorant foaming, called Fiskception: Dissecting Correia's Critique of MacFarlane. It's long, but well worth the read, as is the Bibliotropic post Why I Selfishly Want Gender Diversity in My Reading. I really love how these, among many other authors and voices in the science fiction community have use this very negative situation to shed even more like on the issue of gender diversity.
There's not much else I can add to this other than that I will never read any of Larry Correia's books, and that while gender diversity is very unlike to destroy the science fiction genre, flagrant displays of ignorance and bigotry has been know to destroy more than a few authors' careers.