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A Reader of Fictions: Born This Way - Lady GaGa

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Born This Way - Lady GaGa

Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom

Authors: Emily Franklin & Brendan Halpin
Pages: 257
ARC Acquired from: Walker Books for Young Readers via NetGalley

Brief Summary:
Luke and Tessa have been best friends pretty much forever. Due to some kindly-meant interference by friends and family, Luke comes to believe Tessa likes him and that he returns those feelings, so he asks her to the Prom. And gets shot down. Hard. Because Tessa, as she has neglected to tell him, is a lesbian. Tessa decides that she does want to go to Prom after all, but that she want to use this chance to come out and be herself, by wearing a tuxedo and escorting her lady friend Josie. When a controversy erupts, will Luke stand by her?

Last year, I read Notes from the Blender by Brendan Halpin and Trish Cook. It was completely adorable, with excellent teen characters and touching on real issues. Halpin has done it again, this time partnering with Emily Franklin.

Multiple points of view can either be amazing in a book or completely awful; there doesn't seem to be too much of an in between. Both of Halpin's books that I have read are great examples of good ways to do it. Of course, it's a bit easier with two authors, each writing their own character. Still, I love it entirely, because it gives both of the characters their own unique voices.

The opening scenes, where Luke becomes convinced that Tessa is crushing on him, are absurd but in a totally true-to-life way. His analysis is way off, obviously, but who's isn't? He starts evaluating everything, reading only the things that add up to the answer he expects to find. Of course, none of this would have happened without the prodding of other people. This is clearly an argument against matchmaking.

The controversy about whether Tessa and Josie should be allowed to go to the Prom just makes me fighting mad. I mean, how could that possibly hurt anyone else? Of course, even worse is that I know there's a book about this because things like this really happen, because so many people in this country are still so parochial that they think it matters who people fall in love with. Come on, America, get over it! Oh, and at this point, I need to include a fantastic quote from Luke's part of the narration; keep in mind that it could be different in the final copy of the book:
"There are people who think I'm a hero because I'm standing up for biblical values. Like I've ever read the Bible in my life. Maybe if I did, I could find the part about how making a girl's life into a living hell is something that God thinks you should do."

Really, this was just the sweetest book. I completely love the message, one of acceptance and open-mindedness. There's no hating on Christianity or religion in general. Halpin and Franklin aren't trying to demonize anyone. I want to add a copy of this to my personal library and shelve it metaphorically next to Will Grayson, Will Grayson, though not literally, because I shelve alphabetically by author. This book made me cry and laugh out loud. Not many do that.

Now, go listen to some Lady GaGa (aka Miss Kaboom) and let your freak flag fly, be it what it may. We're all better when we're ourselves!

Rating: 5/5

"Whether life's disabilities
Left you outcast, bullied, or teased
Rejoice and love yourself today
'cause baby you were born this way"

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Blogger April (BooksandWine) said...

Oh my gosh, I totally got fighting mad over the controversy of Josie and Tessa too. Like, who freakin cares that they go to prom? It's not like they are ruining prom. It's not like you can catch gay, ya know?

Also, I loved that the authors didn't try to demonize anyone as well.

Oh man, I love the idea of putting this next to Will Grayson, Will Grayson, I completely loved that book to pieces.

Fantastic review!

I'm stopping by from the Netgalley Challenge link up. :-)

March 10, 2012 at 10:25 AM  

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