of book suggestions & content

With the release of film version of The Hunger Games next month I've been rather excited anytime I see a mention of it anywhere. (For instance, I would have shared a picture on Twitter today of two adverts for it that I saw at 51st while riding the 6. If my car stops in the right place tomorrow I definitely will!) The content of these books are important to me and it's also difficult not to feel something for the characters and their circumstance.

My parents recently took a trip somewhere and I thought it would be the perfect time to offer up my copy of THG for her to read on the plane. A few days later I get a call saying that she's already finished it and is miffed she didn't take my suggestion to bring Catching Fire along as well. (Though she did say she was looking forward to reading it, and the wait just meant she could enjoy them longer. I was so proud.) Since she's gotten back she's finished the entire trilogy and has been discussing Finn and Peeta and Seneca Crane - among others - as if this is a mere re-read. My mom usually doesn't have a lot of time to read, so the fact that she's not only taken the time to read them but that she has read them all is somewhat of a testament to the fact that there is something between the pages of a book for everyone.

We all take something out of it whether it's fascination, seeing something of ourselves, to revulsion or confusion. Even dislike of a book means there's something in it that a person is reacting to. I decided to take advantage of her reading wave and gave to her Neal Shusterman's Unwind to have a go at. If you've been a reader here then you might know that I love this book, though it's a book that's difficult to love. Unwind is not an easy book, but, I think, it's a necessary one. The caveat I gave her before reading it was the same way I think everyone should: do not read the synopsis first; just dive right into it.

She figured it out for herself (though she hasn't read that part yet) and told me that she was absolutely shocked that the book is classified as YA. I disagreed and still do. Unfortunately, I don't see the things described in Unwind as being beyond the capacity of people nor beyond legislation were it scientifically possible. Perhaps I should disclose that I study human rights and sometimes feel like the majority of history that I read with regard to people is horrific enough to be beyond people's imaginations. But it isn't - it's happened. So, though perhaps the scientific ideas in the story are not 100% relatable in the present, is the idea behind it really so futuristic?

Have there been books you've suggested to people that they've either taken to unexpectedly or that they were entirely shocked by and not a fan of? Are there YA books that you love yet still wouldn't give a teenage audience to read? I don't support banning books, but perhaps there's a line here that you would draw that I might not, and so I'm curious.

5 comments on "of book suggestions & content"

Jenny wrote: Mon Feb 27, 08:26:00 PM

I recommend...alright I shove books down peoples throats. ;) If I love a book I try to get everyone to read it regardless of whether it's the type of book they don't normally read. It doesn't always go very well. :( I guess I just LOVE weird books. ;)

Kaye M. wrote: Mon Feb 27, 10:15:00 PM

It depends. If I think a person is stuck in their own ways and just won't "get it", I just leave it and try to figure out who would like it. But people always surprise me. I'm reading Unwind myself, and it was recommended to me by a friend that I thought would be the last one reading "deep books".

By the way, Kaye, I LOVE your blog layout. Did you make it yourself? If so, you should start a business. ;)

Melissa (i swim for oceans) wrote: Wed Feb 29, 09:25:00 AM

I definitely think that book banning is bad, but I do think there is merit in withholding certain content, personally, from those you love until they can handle it. That said, I think it should be the parents' choice.

We Heart YA wrote: Fri Mar 02, 10:05:00 AM

"I study human rights and sometimes feel like the majority of history that I read with regard to people is horrific enough to be beyond people's imaginations."


So glad that your mom loved The Hunger Games. She obviously has good taste. ;) But even people with good taste are not going to love every book that you love, so it's no biggie that Unwind didn't do it for her. Plus I think parents tend to not like the idea of young people reading such difficult things. Not even because the kids might not be ready, because the parental instinct is to protect them.

Jillian wrote: Sun Mar 25, 06:13:00 AM

Good question! I think there's a difference between book banning and parental guidance.. I think one just knows. Like an instinct almost if that makes sense at all.

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