Only Ever Yours is a dystopian masterpiece that tackles key issues facing womankind day-to-day by showing just how bad it could get someday, in the future. Women will start to be designed, not born. Men will be our superiors and we will worship them suitably. The Eves are rated on their appearance and compared constantly. 'Feminist' is a dirty word and an insult.
Another great YA that takes feminism super seriously, as we all should, is Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne. My mum actually recently read this book, I practically forced her with my constant chatter about how important and excellent it is, and she said she loved the feminist angles.
Am I Normal Yet? centres around a character with OCD, a very serious mental illness that must never be underestimated or shrugged off. In the past year Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig has become my ultimate go-to guide on mental illness; where it comes from, what brings it about, who is likely to get struck down by it (anywhere, anything, anyone!) and done wonders for awareness.
One of the things discussed in this book was suicide and it opened with Matt Haig standing atop a cliff in Spain, ready to jump. Suicide is another serious issue, and is addressed from a teen's perspective in Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick. In this story troubled Leonard is inspired by and confides in his teacher, Herr Silverman.
The teacher-student bond can be so important and helpful. Another great example would be in Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky, when 12 year-old Grayson Sender is trapped in the wrong gender's body and dreams of being seen as a girl. Her teacher Mr Finnegan (known to many students as Finn) gives her the lead female role in the school play, and so her true self soon shines through.
Birdy by Jess Vallance is about the two best friends Frances and Alberta, who find each other and have a roller coaster relationship. One of the catalysts for mayhem is Alberta being cast in a play with other peers and not Frances...
Thanks for an awesome guest post, Grace!
Have you done a #6Degrees post this month? Remember to link it up to my post from May 7th!