When Everything Feels Like the Movies

When Everything Feels Like the Movies

eBook - 2014
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Jude is a high school student who smells like Chanel Mademoiselle and reads Old Hollywood star biographies like gospel; his life is a glittery movie that turns dark when he falls for popular straight student Luke.
Publisher: Vancouver :, Arsenal Pulp Press,, 2014
ISBN: 9781551525754
1551525755
Characteristics: c

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leemclean Jan 19, 2016

Yikes! The book overview calls it "teen glamour, dark mischief" - this description understates the drug and alcohol abuse & promiscuous sex that is written as the norm in this book. While I'm certain this book depicts realism in a segment of society, I don't think the description adequately provides enough information to the young adult reader to decide to read this book. There is young and then there is too young.

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ghostemmet
Jun 04, 2015

I understand why so many people loved this book.

I understand why so many people hated this book.

The writing is pretty solid. At first I thought the gratuitous edginess would ruin it for me, but as I got closer to Jude as a character, seeing some of the moments in narration where he lets his guard down, that over-the-top constant quest for shock value started reminding me of old friends with similar defence systems.

So I liked it. But I was tempted to scrawl the names of some more upbeat queer YA books in the back cover. In lieu of defacing a library book, here are a few recommendations if you need a pick-me-up after reading this book:

TWO BOYS KISSING, by David Levithan (also involves a hate crime & some other grim situations, but tends towards hope and the strength of community)
ARISTOTLE & DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (written by a man who came out when he was in his forties, whose friend, upon reading the manuscript, said something along the lines of "you wrote a gift for your younger self")
SISTER MISCHIEF, by Laura Goode (all-girl rap crew! with treehouse makeouts!)
FRUIT: A NOVEL ABOUT A BOY AND HIS NIPPLES, by Brian Francis (this book is kind of like WEFLTM's chubby kid brother who's gonna be okay)
EMPRESS OF THE WORLD, by Sara Ryan (girls falling in love at nerd camp!)
MARCO IMPOSSIBLE (a wicked fun MG book about two best friends -- one gay, one straight -- orchestrating an elaborate plot to win the heart of a boy)

d
dnl84
Apr 27, 2015

I work with LGBTQ2I youth and found this difficult to read because I could see some of these tough situations easily happening to "my" kids. Gender variant people face a lot of violence. This is real. These kinds of things happen to teens, and therefore it is an appropriate choice as a GG winner in this category. (Obviously some teens may not wish to read such a gritty book, which is fine. Most adults don't want to read gritty books either.)

AALuckett Apr 21, 2015

I cannot believe this book won the Governor General's Award for Children's Literature. It ought to be severely downgraded as it adds nothing but negativity to young adolescence. It is unbalanced in its extremities of emotion physicalities. A sad comment on Canada today if this is what we laud in a young writer.

j
Just_A_Bean
Mar 10, 2015

So everything those rave reviews say about this book being "Brave" and "Unflinching" and whatnot is true. It's a brutal picture of teens (children, really) who have fallen through the cracks, and what they have to do to survive. I love these kids; they're smart, courageous, imaginative and determined to get the hell out. It falls short of the kind of hagiography you can get in these sorts of books, because the main character is such a glorious little snot, but you have to love him anyway, eh? The plot, writing, character voices, etc, were all very strong, and I can see why it's pulling awards.

That said, it IS another entry in the Those Tragic Gays column. I know that we want to rally the straights to our cause, rahrah and all that, but maybe we, as a movement, could find a way to do it besides constantly writing ourselves as victims who just suffer so beautifully, darling.

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booktigger
Mar 03, 2015

Hate it or love it - this book screams for a strong reaction ; be it positive or negative. It is definitely a worthy pick for this year's Canada Reads, 'one book to break barriers'.
Heartbreaking, funny and brutally told, this book addresses the all too real issue of bullying in schools and the targets of the bullying being any kids that do not fit the social 'norm' of the day.
My heart went out to Jude/Judy and I found myself holding my breath a few times whilst reading this book, as if by doing so I could prevent the course of the story.

s
singidunum_25
Feb 13, 2015

it is not your every day read....very blunt.....

n
nidofito
Jan 26, 2015

The book depicts a pretty harsh look at the treatment of gay kids, especially in small town schools due to lack of education and exposure. It also points to a lack of support system for the bullied and a lack of action taken against the bullies. Not only that, it also shows what kids end up, stupidly, doing to prevent getting bullied.

LIL1 Jan 13, 2015

Not for the faint of heart or early teens. Got the Gov.Gen award. Far better books with far better messages than this formula fiction supposedly reflecting today's reality. Shock value often masquerades as art.

samdog123 Dec 14, 2014

This is the Governor General's winner in the Children's literature category, but this is no children's book--its sad, gritty story of Jude/Judy, a transgendered teen. Judy's only escape from a horrible home life, taunting and bullying from others at school is drugs and alcohol--as well as imagining her life is being filmed as a movie. I so wanted Judy to succeed and find true love and understanding. At the end of this book I felt so very sad, but realized that the message was that kindness, tolerance and support make the world a truly better place. I only wish Judy had some of that.

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sacameron Feb 21, 2015

sacameron thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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