Monday, December 30, 2013

Breaking Away From Young Adult Fiction

For a few days I've been mulling over what to blog about first. For me, this has been the year of bloggable experiences like musicals, my first crock-pot attempt, classroom crafts, decorating my apartment, and reading books, of course. In the future, l plan on writing a musical review of Wicked, Les Mis, Phantom of the Opera, and Lion King. You can also be on the lookout for a rueben dip crock pot recipe post, and a "wine-themed" decorated apartment post. However, for now I am going to do a book review!

Being a junior high English teacher (it's true, by the way, teaching Jr. high kids is as ridiculous as you would imagine), I've been reading a lot of Young adult fiction. In case you are interested, or want to keep these titles on tap for when your babies turn 13, my recent favorites have included the following: The Divergent series, the Matched series, The Fault in our Starts, and anything by Rick Riordan (like the Percy Jackson series). However, seeing as I'm also a grown woman, I've been trying to read some more age appropriate books, which is what I would like to recommend to you all!

The beauty of an age-appropriate book is that it is so much more relatable to our current experiences. My top recommendation fits that relate-ability perfectly. It is a book called Firefly Lane, by Kristin Hannah. This book follows the story of two best friends- Kate and Tully- from childhood, to high school and college, and finally into adult life. Ultimately, this book is about the bond and struggles of friendships between women. As a brief generalization, Tully is outgoing, loud, charming, career oriented and successful, but incredibly insecure. Kate is quiet, plain, stable, a mother, and (slightly less than Tully) insecure in her own way. In the beginning of the book, Kate relies on Tully to learn how to be social (which is easily the most important thing to a high schooler, right??), but as the story goes on we see that the real dependency is the one that Tully has on Kate. Kate is behind the scenes, but is the rock. As you can guess, and as you've experienced, when you have a pair of best friends who are opposites, there are problems and hurt, but also forgiveness and love.

As I was reading this book, I thought so much about my own friendships. To some I am the "Tully" and to some I am the "Kate." I can be outgoing, but inconsiderate, like Tully,  and I can also be a behind the scenes rock. Maybe you can easily identify with one of the roles, or maybe you identify with both. Regardless, I'm sure you can see that no matter the frustrations in a friendship, and no matter the inevitable hurt and, hopefully, forgiveness, the joy and support women receive from each other is so needed and quite a beautiful thing. We all love the men in our lives, but our best friends offer us something so special that I think we often take for granted.

This book is engaging, a great read, and a perfect reminder of the love we have for our best friends. It does such a nice job of illuminating the changes friendships go through and the challenges that accompany those changes. I promise you you'll probably laugh, cry, and then write your bestie a note.
My other recommendations are by Lisa Genova and they are called Left Neglected and Still Alice- both about women struggling to maintain their lives with a limitation (Alzheimer's and Left Neglect). Again, just great reads for adult women.

So, buy one of these on your Kindle or visit your local library and treat yourself! All three of these books pair nicely with a beer, cup of tea, or glass of wine! Merry Christmas, friends!


  1. Thanks for sharing these titles, Anne! I have also been wanting to break away from YA Fiction, but didn't know where to start. These novels sound lovely and I can't wait to go hunt them down :)

  2. Yes, thank you so much!! :) I'm also stuck in children/YA books and it's nice to have some good recommendations from the adult realm now and then! (Side note -- Matched series is amazing!!! I'm almost done with the third book -- definitely by far my favorite YA dystopian series so far, tho I have yet to read Divergent!).

    I'm definitely adding Firefly Lane to my list to pick up soon! Happy New Year! :)

  3. I love your review of Firefly Lane. I'm always like "it's's about 2 friends...ummm you should read it." Makes me want to read it again... just not sure I can handle all of that emotion a second time around.