Yesterday's book club met at Skylight Books, which is a supercool independent bookstore. We ate delicious brownies and discussed Albatross by Josie Bloss.
Albatross is a twisted story about a love triangle, but more so, about how someone can get in your head and convince you that you're worth less than you are. We book clubbers agreed that the message was an important one, especially for teens. Josie Bloss does an amazing job of subtly creating the most uncomfortable moments where as a reader, you're cheering for the MC, Tess, to walk away, but knowing that honestly, as painful as it is, she won't. And that most other kids wouldn't either.
It's through a skillfully crafted series of those moments and warnings from that little voice in her head that she's finally done.
Tess's parents were so well drawn. That's a really hard thing to do as YA writer because the focus is on the teen and parents are so...secondary in the teenage world. The mother in this book was thoughtful, smart, realistic and believable. And I really admired how Bloss wrote the father. She did an excellent job of showing how Tess's history with her father created an opportunity for another abuser to slide right in and manipulate her. He was realistic and cutting but it never hammered us over the head. A perfect blend of subtly and cruelty.
The combination of a great read and meeting smart, fun readers made book club totally awesome.
So, what are you reading?