Today at Book Riot...

...I've got a post up about the recent removal of Courtney Summers' Some Girls Are from a South Carolina summer reading list:

Where the school has failed its students is in changing an assignment without going through a formal review process in order to appease one vocal parent. Even beyond setting a terrible precedent, it sends a terrible message to the students who’ve already read the book and who’ve connected with it—teens who’ve seen themselves, heard themselves in it. By capitulating to the demands of one worldview, they’re telling those students that their voices don’t deserve to be heard, that their stories aren’t worthy of telling. That they should keep their heads bowed, their hands folded, their mouths shut.

Today at Book Riot...

...I've got a post up about reading V.C. Andrews' My Sweet Audrina:

I kind of can’t believe I’m going to say this, but compared to the Dollanganger books—Flowers in the Attic, etc.—My Sweet Audrina is almost RESTRAINED. I mean, there’s no doubt that V.C. Andrews should win a lifetime achievement award in OVERWROUGHT MELODRAMA, but I think her writing in this one was vastly better than in the others I’ve read.

YOU GUYS, WHY DIDN'T YOU WARN ME THAT READING IT WOULD SCAR ME FOR LIFE? (Not that I'd have listened. BUT STILL.)

Also. If you're sad that you weren't on Twitter while I was howling about it—because we all need a little more V.C. Andrews in our lives?—I Storified the experience:

Recently at Kirkus Reviews...

...I wrote about Ana of California, a modern retelling of Anne of Green Gables by Andi Teran:

Teran does a nice job of updating and tweaking some of Anne’s most famous moments—the hair-dying incident becomes a hair-straightening incident, the raspberry cordial incident involves psilocybin mushrooms—and she does an even nicer job of allowing the moments to be recognizable nods to the originals while not recreating them shot-for-shot. The secondary characters, similarly, are recognizable-yet-different, and while some of Ana’s adversaries are entirely two-dimensional, well, so was Josie Pye.

and The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall, a ghost story by Katie Alender:

Maybe even more importantly, I’d argue that making her characters knowledgeable makes for a way scarier story—if the characters make smart choices, the reader doesn’t spend all of her time rolling her eyes at all of their boneheaded decisions. (Like, for example, GOING DOWN TO THE BASEMENT SOLO, or saying things like, “LET’S SPLIT UP.”)

In case you're wondering why I've been so quiet lately...

...this might give you some idea as to what I've been up to:

So, yeah. SUMMER READING.

Currently reading: Bad Feminist

AND I AM LOVING THE HELL OUT OF IT.

The Scrabble essay almost killed me—funny, self-deprecating, fascinating in that NOW I NEED TO READ ALL OF THE BOOKS ABOUT COMPETITIVE SCRABBLE way. For instance:

I have a Scrabble nemesis. His name is Henry. He has the most beautiful blue-gray eyes I have ever seen. The beauty of his perfect eyes only makes me hate him more. He has been known to wear a fanny pack and often scowls. Nemeses aren't born. They are made.

And:

I was determined to win my second match because I am that competitive and I have pride and winning feels way better than losing. My opponent was really quiet and taciturn. It was not fun playing her. I slaughtered her 403-229 and I wanted to scream I was so happy. I was very tempted to jump on the table and shout, "IN YOUR FACE." For the sake of sportsmanship, I remained quiet and polite and thanked her for the game. She coldly walked away without so much as a by-your-leave. Later, as I drove home, I did gloat. I gloated a lot.

Her descriptions of people and interactions are stellar, and she folds in her thoughts about gender and race and sexuality and education and economic class and privilege and about trying to be a decent human being in a way that doesn't come off as didactic or judgmental or condescending. LOVE.