Book Review: An Off Year

It’s possible that I gave this a five star rating because it has one of the best covers I’ve ever seen. But, I think it’s more than that. Do you ever feel like you belong to a book instead of it belonging to you? That’s how I felt when I read this book. And though reading it didn’t blow my mind and I didn’t weep and wail, I think this book accomplished exactly what it set out to do, which was give the reader a sense of belonging, and a general feeling of “it’s okay-ness” about being who you are.

I couldn’t necessarily relate to Cecily not wanting to go to college immediately, but I loved that she stopped being the obedient daughter and really made a first decision on her own–not to go to college that year–even if she couldn’t pinpoint why and had a feeling it was a bad decision. I really enjoyed Cecily’s questioning of why high school kids all go off to college in mass, like lemmings to a meadow–or wherever they would actually find fun and safety. She challenged the cliches of partying and dorm living and dating and even learning.

I will look for more books by Claire Zulkey, in the future. The humor in this one was definitely my kind of humor, and the family dynamics were well-drawn. The conclusion I expected came naturally and as promised. But, it was the subject matter that was so unique to young adult books that I appreciated the most. I haven’t seen anything else like it. I really loved this book.

Published by jody sparks

Jody Sparks Mugele spent her first career in marketing writing and leading teams of writers and editors. After her son came out as transgender in 2015, she dedicated herself to advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. For two years, she led the Indianapolis regional chapter of PFLAG, a nationally renowned LGBTQ+ advocacy group. She has given many conference talks about parenting trans kids, healthcare in the trans community, and suicidality among LGBTQ+ youth. And with GenderNexus, an Indianapolis-based advocacy organization, she created programming and led support groups to work with parents to help their children through all aspects of gender transition. She recently moved to Northeast Georgia where she is excited to develop opportunities to continue to strongly and proudly advocate for LGBTQ+ members of our society. She also LOVES kitschy Christmas crafting!

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