Imagine combining the slasher qualities of 90’s movies like Scream seamlessly with the warm haziness of unrequited love from an 80’s John Hughes flick and a road trip so surreal it would give Hunter S. Thompson a run for his money. This is the magic of White Rabbit. Caleb Roehrig’s second YA book is another foray into mystery, but that’s where the comparisons ends with this sophomore book. Mischievous, sarcastic and a totally wild ride, find out all the reasons you should be picking up White Rabbit when it releases next month.
Welcome to the last stop on the SPINNING Blog Tour! We are thrilled to host multi-talented author Tillie Walden on the blog today. She has promised five questions, but we somehow got her to answer six! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
If you haven’t yet picked up Spinning (what are you waiting for? This striking graphic novel released on September 12th!), it’s Tillie’s autobiographical account of her youth spent training and competing in figure skating. After moving to Texas, Tillie begins to lose interest in the sport, to question the stifling world of figure skating, its rules and expectations of her as a deeply closeted lesbian. In the midst of this internal transformation, she also meets a girl, it doesn’t work out and she decides to come out to those around her to rather mixed reviews. Told in tiny, languid snippets of Tillie’s life, this gorgeously and starkly illustrated graphic novel is highly recommended for fans character driven graphic novels.
This book is no joke. It legitimately broke me. I am certain my DNA has changed from reading it. I finished it two weeks ago and it still feels too soon to be able to put into words how it made me feel, but for you, dear readers, I will try.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Elements of magical realism and fairy tale storytelling combine to create this achingly lush queer love story. Miel and Sam are outsiders in a small town. Sam is a boy who paints and hangs moons in the town trees and Miel is a girl that fell out of a water tower a decade ago. Townspeople keep strangers and people considered strange at arm’s length, but Miel and Sam have managed to have each other for 10 years. They keep each other safe and their biggest secrets safer, like the fact that Sam is a transgender boy.
When Miel is targeted by the Bonner girls for the roses that grow from her wrist, they threaten all that she holds true and the secrets closest to her heart. What Miel doesn’t count on is that her secrets are deeper than the river and the Bonner’s cruel relentless detente may have no end if she stays complicit in their demands. A town of old secrets, brujeria, witches and glass pumpkins lend an unforgettable backdrop to this character study of friendship, love and family.
What makes this book so memorable is McLemore’s gorgeous epic prose and the delicate touch she applies to a queer girl in love with a transgender boy. Each sentence is a gift and the dialogue between characters can be so achingly real. Covering themes of racism, diversity, LGBTQ and YA issues, this book will be on everyone’s year end list, including mine.
“The world they had cast between them was both brighter and softer than everything else, cast in deep blues and golds.”