Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How I Lost You, by Janet Gurtler- Review and Blog Tour

From Goodreads:
There are a few things Grace Anderson knows for sure. One is that nothing will ever come between her and her best friend, Kya Kessler. They have a pact. Buds Before Studs. Sisters Before Misters. But in the summer before senior year, life throws out challenges they never expected. And suddenly the person who's always been there starts to need the favor returned. Grace and Kya are forced to question how much a best friend can forgive. And the answer is not what they expected.

An interesting look at where you cross the line between forgiveness and manipulation in a friendship, how i lost you was equal parts intriguing/dealing with serious matters and one of those stories where you kind of want to slap the heroine over the head and yell at her for being such a push over.

What I liked about the story was how it dealt with sexual violence, consent and a variety of issues that fall within those confines.  I also really liked that Grace and Kya were not so much girlie girls, that they were competitive paintball players (who knew there was such a thing?!), and that Grace at least, didn't seem to worry too much what others thought of her.  I also liked that although Kya and Grace had been bosom buddies for many years, family and friends around them were not shy to let Grace know when it stopped being a healthy relationship for her, regardless of her feelings for her friend.  There was a lot that was sensible, strong and empowering in this story, and since it's a very girl oriented story (I cannot picture guys wanting to read about two BFF teen girls, dealing with their BFF-iness and growing up), I can't help but applaud Gurtlers intentions.

What I didn't like was the somewhat caricatured extremes Gurtler took Kya and Grace's friendship too.  The BFF extremes, the tattoos, the sayings and hand signs, they became very 12 year old girl at a certain point and I started having issues believing that two teen girls would be quite so over the top about it, especially in front of the guys they were potentially interested in. 

An intriguing read with a lot of merit, I would consider this a prime book to read and talk about with the pre-teen girl in your life.  Be aware it deals with a lot of aspects of sexuality, so if you're hesitant about sharing that with your pre-teen then this is not the book for you, however it does so in a very informative and thoughtful way, discussing many of the ways it's consensual versus abusive. An important and sometimes difficult differentiation for the inexperienced, to understand.

If you want a sampling of Gurtler, then now's the perfect time, as her previous book, I’m Not Her is the iBookstore Book of the Week and is available for free this week (starting today!) at the iBookstore.  

how i lost you, by Janet Gurtler
Published by Sourcebooks Fire, April 23 2013
Buy How I Lost You on Amazon

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