Jerkbait by Mia Seigert

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I met Mia Seigert on Twitter in the process of growing my writing community and was blown away by how easy she was to talk to and how much she gave without reserve in terms of experience and tips to a newbie like me. I was planning to buy her book when it comes out later this year as a show of support to a fellow writer but was surprised and happy to receive an ARC.

Young Adult as a genre is something I am new to so I have been trying to read different titles over the past few months. I started Jerkbait late last night and was hoping I would finish it in a day. Instead I lay in bed reading way past midnight. When the book was done and I closed my eyes, I had the feeling that I had finished watching a movie.

The book features twins Robbie and Tristan who are seniors in High School. Robbie lives and breathes hockey while the arts call to Tristan. On the surface it seems to be a book about gay athletes and the immense pressure and bullying they are subject to but dig a little deeper and it is a story that any high schooler can relate to. Parental pressure, bullying, the struggle to balance career aspirations with following the heart and of course love. At the base of this complex story is one of sibling relationship.

Given the multiple threads the story handles, I half expected gaps in the story and plot holes but happily surprised to see it all tied up well.

If you love young adult fiction or if you have a high schooler at home or know of someone who can relate to this, pick up a copy. A fast, thrilling read.

The Golden Son by Shilpi Gowda – A well crafted story

  
The book has been on my desk for a few weeks now. I follow the author and her agent on Twitter and won an autographed copy in a giveaway. Waiting for my laptop to finish updating, I picked it up and started reading. 

Getting to bed well past midnight, the thing that struck me about the book was how well crafted it was. On the surface, it is about theimmigrant dilemma. It uses many of the same tropes that we see related to Indian American authors. There is the nod to family, to complex sibling relationships, to past loves. What I loved about the book is how well Gowda strings those threads. The characters are optimally used, and when you think the events are tending towards the stereotypical, she uses them to explore feelings and move the story.  Most importantly the book does not linger where we would expect it to. The writing is fresh and real. Gowda paints the semi rural India well and I put the book down thinking this will translate to the screen well. 

In the mood for a narrative that spans cultures, touches upon immigrant dilemmas and is refreshingly real? Pick this book.