Graffiti Knight

Graffiti Knight

It’s not too often I hear about World War 2 era stories that are from the perspective of Germans. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into it, but I really enjoyed it. Graffiti Knight is an interesting view of life in Germany following the war. The kids deal with hunger, violent oppressive police, mistreatment of their older sisters, and depressed or alcoholic parents. Young reader’s will enjoy the protagonist with a rebellious streak and good heart. The balancing act of keeping his independence, standing up for his people, and staying out of trouble creates a suspenseful tale that exposes the grittiness of the past.

 

 

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Drummer Girl

*I received Drummer Girl as a submission for the YABA

There were little parts of this that I liked and I wanted to enjoy it but I’m afraid it just didn’t work for me. It was too after-school special, with obvious lessons to learn. I like when books deal with issues like being true to yourself, bullying, peer pressure, assault, abandonment and so on but I don’t like when a novel throws it in your face so much. The author uses the school guidance councilor as a voice of caution and guidance to the reader a little too much. It was cheesy and I didn’t think the narrator felt very authentic. The overall plot was sound, but the details made it feel like an adult talking about what not to do, or how to handle things, instead of a novel that effectively illustrates the teenage experience.

That the narrator constantly has to deal with stupid groping boys when she starts wearing skirts really disgusted me. It makes me think about the Slut Walk where women celebrate their right to wear what they like without being touched. A skirt is not an invitation to be touched, and it really bothers me that this has to be pointed out by the book but it’s sadly very true that this is a problem.

The nerd in me also takes offense to how she was so surprised to fall for a geek with glasses. I hate when characters in movies have to lose their glasses to become pretty or dateable, or whatever. I like my glasses, and I refuse to take them off for pictures even though everyone always asks me to. The attitude towards his glasses seemed to contradict her whole, don’t need to change her style epiphany when she decides to keep her old band t-shirts in her wardrobe and only keep select things from her makeover. She’s glad he has glasses so other girls won’t notice him. What? Ugh. I know I’m bias because I think nerdy guys are adorable but that’s just unnecessarily shallow and an unhealthy attitude.