Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met. (Goodreads).
This is going to be a mini rant about what I’ve noticed on BookTube. I must admit, I am a novice to this section of the YouTube platform. Reading has always been something I kept separate from social media but in the past year I have decided to share what I am reading online (mostly on my Instagram stories) but this led me to exploring more ways people share what they are reading (i.e. blogs, Twitter, Tumblr, and YouTube). I have only been an avid watcher of BookTube for about a month now but like other niche’s in the YouTube community I have noticed some trends regarding to diversity that disappoint me.
I have been an avid Young Adult reader for quite sometime now. Even as an adult, I still find myself picking up from the genre, (One of the books I’m currently reading is Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli… I can’t stay away!). Now that I am older, I know I have grown out of YA but I still like to read a nice coming of age story about how young people walk through life, (to be more specific, I am more of a YA Contemporary fan).
With such a wide knowledge on the YA world, it is easy to notice how repetitive things can be… to a point where sometimes I am not as excited to read from them anymore. Just this week I gave away 3 YA books (2 contemporary, 1 mystery) because I could not even finish them. Now this can be a blessing in disguise because I should be reading more adult books, but I think the reason why I have such an attachment to YA is because it was the genre that got me into falling in love with reading in the first place. Without YA, I wouldn’t be the reader I am today.
This week, I present to you an old fashioned listcle – Buzzfeed Style – I want to explore three YA tropes: The Good, The Bad, and The Exhausting
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas was definitely one of my favorite books I read this year. It was a very fast paced story that was culturally relevant and (as a teacher especially) made me feel like this YA Contemporary was necessary reading for the younger generation. Not only was the plot something I really enjoyed (is “enjoy” the right adjective? It’s not but that’s all I got) but this was one of the first YA books that I have read where I finally saw myself in the protagonist. Starr was a young black girl who was a total badass, had a thing for white boys, and a Harry Potter nerd… not to mention her struggle with her black identity while going to a predominately white school … like HELLO? That’s so me! I am 24 now, but I wish I had read of characters like Starr in my young adult age, it would have been a nice to mix her in with all the Margo Roth Spiegelmans and Hazel Grace Lancasters.