(You can tell it's the spring vacation, can't you? HELLO THAR INTERNETS.)
So I read Love and Lies: Marisol's Story, which is a companion volume to Hard Love, which is one of my favourite YA novels of all time, and Parrotfish, which is about a FtM protagonist, and they were fine, but neither of them had that thing that made Hard Love so awesome. I think it was because Hard Love had lots of different voices, lots of different formats and styles and points of view, and you had the sense that more was going on with everyone than you ever found out: its point of view was slightly skewed from the main narrative line, and there was something pleasingly complicated about the star-crossed lovers plot. Whereas both Love and Lies and Parrotfish, I felt, worked a little bit too hard at presenting the 'right' way to see things through a first-person narrator, and that made everything a bit flat and unnuanced. They were good examples of the problem-novel genre, which I happen to really like, but they didn't do an awful lot with it, I thought. But, you know, isn't it great that there's lots of perfectly-good-but-not-world-scorchingly-brilliant queer YA fiction out there? When J wrote her first queer YA novel, her editor told her it had to be three times as good as the next book because it was queer. And that's just not true any more, which is great.
Okay, now I have to go revise my article for Cultural Critique - the anonymous reader (who was very helpful, thank you anonymous reader) pointed out that I hadn't written the last paragraph of it. Which I never do; that's like my besetting sin as an academic writer. I hate the bit where you go 'And so in conclusion the last five thousand words were basically about this'. So, gah, I hate having to do it, but double-gah, I know it will make the piece like a hundred percent better, so I can't even grumble about the unreasonable demands of editors.
Incidentally, yesterday I practiced my Eros paper on J and she says she can't tell whether I'm getting cleverer or stupider either.