Sex & Violence - YA Review by Elise S

Reader: Elise S.
Age: 17
Title: Sex & Violence
Author: Carrie Mesrobian
Publisher: Carolrhoda LAB
Pub Date: 10/01/13
Galley: Yes
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: Sex & Violence is completely, relatably, honest. I know Evan, a lot of Evans, actually. The Evans of my life frankly make me uncomfortable a lot of the time, but reading this book, seeing the world through their eyes, was a refreshingly uncomfortable experience. The author completely immersed me in Evan's life and trauma. I never really liked him as a person, but I always related to him, which is the best thing an author can do.
Memorable or Forgettable: Being a Minnesotan myself, I loved the care and appreciation with which the author wrote about life on a lake. There were so many little details that made me giggle - the weird, only-in-Minnesota names, pontoon culture, Cub Foods, cabin friends. It was essentially a love letter to Minnesota, and made me look at my summers with a new eye. Especially since I read it while at my grandparents' lake cabin!
Cover: The design of this cover was absolutely beautiful. I loved the simplicity and abstractness. The font was also pretty awesome. However, I have a problem with the title. I understand the statement it's making, and it does kind of relate to the book, but I'm frustrated about what the book loses. The story Sex & Violence tells is super important, and I have a lot of friends who I know would love the story and relate to the characters. But they're not going to read it because of the title. Carrying around a book titled Sex & Violence is uncomfortable, you have to think about who might see it. This pretty much rules out school and home, or anywhere around family, which is most of an average teen's life. So while I appreciate the effort, I think that the overall result is losing readers.
Age Range: 16 through 18 and up
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

tags: realistic fiction / ya lit

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