Book Review: Ten Miles Past Normal

I love slim books but this one just didn’t grab me the way I wished it would. I love the concept, and the writing was strong, but the emotion just didn’t resonate with me. I’ll be trying other books by this author. I wondered if the reason it didn’t grab me was because the protagonist is younger (14), but nah. I think I just wasn’t into her, particularly. Many young girls certainly will be.

I was really into the idea of a girl finding her newer self back at home — belonging — instead of the traditional independence found that you see in YA books all the time. And that was there: Janie learns to dig the idea of a having a Hootenanny in which her mom invites the entire community. She crushes on the unpopular but actually cool guy who hangs with his family. But bottom line: it was too innocent for YA. It felt like it just as much about not growing up too fast as it was “embracing a new you.” I’d give this to my 10 year old to read, not my 13 year old. And I’m not even sure she’d love it.

I LOVE this cover. The chapter titles were very fun and the author used some of my favorite quotes from poets, so it felt strange not love the story. So, we’ll see what else this author does! I think I’d like to hang out with her again.

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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