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]”

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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]”

Queer Time in Edmund White’s [A Boy’s Own Story]

Edmund White’s A Boy’s Own Story is a coming-of-age novel centered on the sexual awakening of a queer teenage boy in the Midwest during the 1950s. The novel discusses topics such as the corruption of innocence, the pressures of masculinity in the lives of young boys, the emergence of childhood sexuality, and the exploration of humanity throughContinue reading “Queer Time in Edmund White’s [A Boy’s Own Story]”

Fact Versus Fiction: Alan Hollinghurst’s [The Line of Beauty]

I find it so easy to get lost in the elegance and artistry of Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty. I originally planned to read this book in a day or two, but it took me a while longer simply because I was so enthralled and moved by the novel’s baroque descriptions and its aesthetic focusContinue reading “Fact Versus Fiction: Alan Hollinghurst’s [The Line of Beauty]”

Connection Failed: An Analysis of Christopher Isherwood’s [A Single Man]

Failure is found at the heart of many great works of fiction. It is a common motif used to spark an emotional connection, sympathy, and at times, anger. Failure is not only the heart of Christopher Isherwood’s A Single Man–is also the blood, the flesh, and the soul of this novel. Centered on a single dayContinue reading “Connection Failed: An Analysis of Christopher Isherwood’s [A Single Man]”

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]”

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]”

On Happy Endings and Gay Fiction: E.M. Forster’s [Maurice]

“A happy ending was imperative. I shouldn’t have bothered to write otherwise. I was determined that in fiction anyway two men should fall in love and remain in it for the ever and ever that fiction allows, and in this sense Maurice and Alec still roam in the greenwood. […] Happiness is its keynote–which byContinue reading “On Happy Endings and Gay Fiction: E.M. Forster’s [Maurice]”

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]”