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So clean, so linear… so YA

Mine. No share. Go way!

Originally uploaded by freerangelibrarian

My Librarything “Early Reviewers” copy of Nikita Lalwani’s “Gifted” showed up yesterday, and when the afternoon storm knocked out the electricity, I used this as my excuse to sit near a window (not TOO near a window) and begin reading by ambient light.

I greatly enjoyed the first thirty or so pages (always a good sign) and marveled at the neat, linear progression… the adroit but clear change in voice… the clarity of the characters. Then the power came back on and before I set the book aside I flipped the book over to read the blurb.

“Included in High School e-newsletter… mailing to YA librarians…. presented at National Council of Teachers of English conference…” Oh, and a Myspace page. Egads, it’s a YA novel!

That’s perfectly fine (I still reread Pooh, and why not?), but at least as I remember them, this ain’t nothing like the YA novels I read by the bucketful fifteen-odd years ago during my brief career as a children’s/YA librarian (which lasted all of six months before I was slurped up into technology… no regrets: loved the kids, wasn’t keen on the organizational culture). This book is longer (pushing 300 pages), the language more complex, the details richer.

In any event, I am not sure what makes this a YA novel — unless it’s the 14-year-old girl-math-whiz protagonist — but I mean that as praise, and I am only comparing it to my dim memory of a certain type of book from a certain era in a certain place.

I take it with me to the car mechanic’s today, so I should have my first read-through done by tomorrow.

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