My article on The Perks of Being a Wallflower is now available online!

I’m pleased to announce that my article entitled “Writing through Growth, Growth through Writing: The Perks of Being a Wallflower and the Narrative of Development” can now be found in The ALAN Review‘s digital archives. Here is a brief abstract of the article, which won the Nilsen-Donelson award for best article published during the volumeContinue reading “My article on The Perks of Being a Wallflower is now available online!”

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We Are the Stories We Tell: Patrick Ness’ [More Than This]

(Major spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned!) “People see stories everywhere,” Regine says. “That’s what my father used to say. We take random events and we put them together in a pattern so we can comfort ourselves with a story, no matter how much it obviously isn’t true.” She glances back at Seth. “We have toContinue reading “We Are the Stories We Tell: Patrick Ness’ [More Than This]”

Unrealistic Expectations: (Meta)Narrative in Andrew Smith’s [Winger]

Warning: The following post contains major spoilers for Andrew Smith’s Winger.  After reading Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle, I immediately knew that I had to read other works written by this author–and Winger seemed like the obvious choice. I finished reading Winger a couple of weeks ago. Typically, I write analyses and reviews of books soon after I read them, but for this novel,Continue reading “Unrealistic Expectations: (Meta)Narrative in Andrew Smith’s [Winger]”

Escaping the Labyrinth: Suffering in YA Fiction and the Case of John Green’s [Looking for Alaska]

  How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering? –A.Y. – John Green, Looking for Alaska (p. 158) What is the role of suffering in young adult literature? I’ve been obsessed with answering this question since one of my dissertation committee members asked me it a couple of weeks ago. My desire to answer thisContinue reading “Escaping the Labyrinth: Suffering in YA Fiction and the Case of John Green’s [Looking for Alaska]”

On Closets and Straight Gazes – Bill Konigsberg’s [Openly Straight]

I was thinking about how snakes shed their skin every year, and how awesome it would be if people did that too. In a lot of ways, that’s what I was trying to do. As of tomorrow, I was going to have new skin, and that skin could look like anything, would feel different thanContinue reading “On Closets and Straight Gazes – Bill Konigsberg’s [Openly Straight]”

Masculinity in Robert Cormier’s [The Chocolate War]

It’s 1:53 a.m. and I currently can’t sleep because of this book. I was going to wait and write about it in the morning, but I really need to engage in the cathartic process of writing in order to make sense of all of the thoughts that are fireworking in my head. I was expectingContinue reading “Masculinity in Robert Cormier’s [The Chocolate War]”

J.C. Lillis’ [How to Repair a Mechanical Heart]: A Gay YA Novel on Fandom, Religion, and Canonicity

If there is one thing that gay young adult fiction should be thankful for, that thing would be the internet. Because of the advent of the web, we have witnessed the increase of self-published e-novels distributed through online stores such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Self-publishing, in my opinion, greatly expands the possibilities ofContinue reading “J.C. Lillis’ [How to Repair a Mechanical Heart]: A Gay YA Novel on Fandom, Religion, and Canonicity”

On Asexuality and Kinship: Ellen Wittlinger’s [Hard Love]

Ellen Wittlinger’s Hard Love is at its core a novel about love, but it is quite different from other young adult novels on the subject that were written in the late 1990s. The narrative is centered on John Galardi (known by some as Gio), a junior in a high school who is still haunted by the ghostsContinue reading “On Asexuality and Kinship: Ellen Wittlinger’s [Hard Love]”

Queer Times: An Analysis of David Levithan’s [Two Boys Kissing]

In the notes and acknowledgments section written at the end of Two Boys Kissing, author David Levithan states that “This isn’t a book I could have written ten years ago” (199). Levithan is absolutely right. Back in 2003, when I was still a sophomore in high school, I could never fathom the possibility of finding aContinue reading “Queer Times: An Analysis of David Levithan’s [Two Boys Kissing]”

John Donovan’s [I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip] – The First YA Novel With Gay Content

During the same political and cultural climate that produced the 1969 Stonewall Riots, John Donovan’s I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip was published.  Although the riots were not causal of the books publication, it is no coincidence that both events were symptomatic of the tensions and pressures faced by the newly forming gayContinue reading “John Donovan’s [I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip] – The First YA Novel With Gay Content”