Originally reviewed for The Prism Book Alliance - full review o'er here
This review contains spoilers.
Okay. Cards on the table. This will not be a positive review. As a reader, I know I am quite impatient with YA because it deals with issues and concepts which, as I wither into my thirties, become increasingly less relevant to me.
The thing is, though, I believe that good YA is written with conviction and respect for the people it concerns – people who are real, and whose choices and values and experiences (while they may not be mine) are genuinely valid. Weirdly, it’s one of the effective things about Twilight. As an adult, I might Bella’s find relationship with Edward cringeworthy and borderline abusive, but I don’t think this has anything to do with the fact she’s under twenty. While we may question Bella’s taste, and occasionally her mental health, she’s still just a person. She’s not a special type of person who is a teenager, and her love for Edward (while it may display hallmarks of immaturity to the rest of us) is always taken seriously by the text, and the author.
In Breaking Free, however, the main character, Raimi, constantly talks about her world as if she’s an alien in it. This might be a deliberate device to emphasise the way Raimi’s experiences have set her apart from her peers (she was home-schooled for two years, and has recently transitioned) but with my ungenerous hat on, it often reads like an adult who doesn’t have a lot of respect for teenagers stuffing that into the mouth of her – cough – teenage protagonist.
Sorry, I know this annoying but read the rest here