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Shorter Musings: YA Realistic

Here are shorter musings of some recent realistic YA reads.

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
I truly appreciate and love the amount of research Sepetys puts into her historical fiction writing. This novel has a better bibliography than most YA non-fiction books that are published. I also like how Sepetys tends to bring attention to historical moments that often go unremarked or unnoticed. In this case she is tackling life in Franco's Spain, and the kidnapping of children to give up for adoption that was rampant under the regime. While this book is a great intellectual exercise, I couldn't quite love it as a work of literature. I felt a distance between myself and the characters. It was almost clinical. I'm not sure if this is a fault of how they were written and developed or a fault in my own ability to want to immerse myself in so painful a reality. The prose is on the same level Sepetys typically gives us, and the setting is fully realized.

Maybe This Time by Kasie West
I enjoyed this more than I have any other Kasie West book in quite some time. The romance wasn't quite well developed, particularly for the end it got, but Sophie's character and other relationships were really well done. I loved the tensions that developed between her and her best friend over her leaving their town. I felt the resolution to that was handled really well too. And I adored how West treated Sophie's complicated feelings for both of her parents. There was a definite shift there from childhood thinking to adult thinking that was fascinating to see and not really explored a lot in YA. And the boy part is fun if not totally believable.

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