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 volume … Continue reading My article on The Perks of Being a Wallflower is now available online!

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

Queer Resistance in Rita Mae Brown’s [Rubyfruit Jungle]

If you want to get a sense of the views and attitudes that permeated lesbian life soon after the gay rights movement, this is the book you are searching for. Originally published in 1973, Rita Mae Brown's Rubyfruit Jungle is approached by many readers as the quintessential lesbian coming-out and coming-of-age novel. It centers on the growth … Continue reading Queer Resistance in Rita Mae Brown’s [Rubyfruit Jungle]

John Barth’s “Lost in the Funhouse”: A Postmodern Critique of the Developmental Narrative

"Lost in the Funhouse" is a short story in John Barth's book of the same name, originally published in 1968.  The stories within this collection are typically approached as postmodern due to their self-reflexivity, their self-awareness, and their use of self-reference. The short story "Life in the Funhouse," in particular, is known for its active … Continue reading John Barth’s “Lost in the Funhouse”: A Postmodern Critique of the Developmental Narrative

On YA Fiction with Gay Latino Characters: Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Words were different when they lived inside of you. - Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (p. 31) A few years ago, I wrote a short essay that was published in the Changing Lives, Changing Minds blogs managed by UMass Dartmouth regarding the importance of young adult literature in my personal and … Continue reading On YA Fiction with Gay Latino Characters: Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Structure and Development in Mark Haddon’s [The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time]

The publication history of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the God in the Night-Time (2003) is indeed very curious, mostly because it was deliberately marketed as both a children's book and an adult novel. This leads me to invoke a pressing issue among scholars and readers who are concerned with narratives of youth: is it possible, nowadays, … Continue reading Structure and Development in Mark Haddon’s [The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time]

J.D. Salinger’s [The Catcher in the Rye]: A Brief Analysis

Experience is the greatest enemy of meaning and significance. When I first read J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye during my late teens, I was absolutely captivated by the novel's passive anti-hero, Holden Caulfield. I felt his loneliness, his distaste towards all of the "phoniness" present in the world, and his constant state of utter helplessness … Continue reading J.D. Salinger’s [The Catcher in the Rye]: A Brief Analysis

Brotherhood, Race, and Gender in Martin Wilson’s “What They Always Tell Us”

Young adult novels, generally speaking, tend to be emotionally draining reads. It is not uncommon for teens and young adults to feel angst, loneliness, and depression when trying to transcend into the realm of adulthood (as many of us know when we look back at our teen years, or as we currently experience them). I … Continue reading Brotherhood, Race, and Gender in Martin Wilson’s “What They Always Tell Us”