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True Biz
True Biz: From the author of the Womens Prize longlisted GIRL AT WAR | Sara Novic
163 posts | 104 read | 2 reading | 93 to read
'Part tender coming of age story, part electrifying tale of political awakening, part heartfelt love letter to Deaf culture, True Biz is a wholly a wonder' Celeste Ng True biz (adj/exclamation; American Sign Language): really, seriously, definitely, real-talk True Biz plunges readers into the halls of a residential school for the deaf, where they'll meet Charlie, a rebellious transfer student who's never met another deaf person before; Austin, the school's golden boy, whose world is rocked when his baby sister is born hearing; and February, the headmistress, who is fighting to keep her school open and her marriage intact, but might not be able to do both. As a series of crises both personal and political threaten to unravel each of them, Charlie, Austin, and February find their lives inextricable from one another - and changed forever. This is a story of sign language and lip-reading, cochlear implants and civil rights, isolation and injustice, first love and loss, and, above all, great persistence, daring, and joy. Absorbing and assured, idiosyncratic and relatable, True Biz is an unforgettable journey into the Deaf community and a universal celebration of human connection.
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lil1inblue
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💙 It's not springtime without rain! 😅
💙 Tagged: True Biz by Sara Novic
Shout outs to the runners up: A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear by Matthew
Hongoltz-Hetling and The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton
💙 We have a family reunion for my mom's side of the family over Memorial Day
weekend. I can't believe it's already May - where is the year going!!!

Eggs Great fun!! 3w
20 likes1 comment
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lil1inblue
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Thanks for the tag, @Eggs!
1. Tagged: True Biz by Sara Novic
2. I've been watching Palm Royale, so now I really want to read Mr. & Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel. (#litsymademedoit)
#two4tuesday

TheSpineView I have not read either book yet. They sound good though. Thanks for playing 3w
Eggs You‘re welcome ☺️ 3w
20 likes2 comments
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lil1inblue
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Pickpick

I stayed up past my bedtime last night to finish this gem (worth it). This was so educational, but also a great story. So much insight into the Deaf community. I highly recommend this one.

23 likes1 stack add
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lil1inblue
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Currently loving this book. I'm learning a lot, too!

#springskies #bkclubread

Eggs 💙💜💛🩵 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Great graphic 💛💚❤️ 2mo
19 likes2 comments
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kissmehardy
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Pickpick

Absolutely fascinating as both a portrait of Deaf culture and as a story in general. Loved all the perspectives and political issues and budding romances. Really made me think about the world! #contemporaryfiction

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Mrs_B
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Pickpick

Wow what a clever book. An incredible story, very passionately written. And an excellent insight into deaf culture and deaf history. I learnt so much and thoroughly enjoyed it. I wish there were more like it, if anyone has any other recommendations then let me know!

Thank you very much to @Megabooks @fredthemoose and @Bookwormjillk for the recommendation and advice.

Bookwormjillk I‘m glad you liked it! 5mo
Megabooks So glad you enjoyed it! 5mo
BennettBookworm One of my FAVES! 5mo
59 likes3 comments
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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this. It‘s beautifully conceived, thoughtful and pacey. I was invested in the characters so kept turning the pages to see what happened to them. I loved how Nović integrated sign language and the story was immersed in deaf culture. It‘s drawn from her lived experience so feels authentic rather than tokenistic. Whilst there‘s a ‘message‘ it‘s not too preachy & made me think. The closure of special schools is topical in Oz now too.

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suvata
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Pickpick

#MMDBookClub Pick for September 2023 • 4 Stars

This novel follows the lives of three characters who are connected by a boarding school for the deaf in Ohio. It explores themes of identity, community, disability, and civil rights. Charlie is a rebellious transfer student who is deaf; Austin, a popular senior who is also deaf and whose sister is hearing; and February, a hearing headmistress who is a child of deaf adults.

Sarahreadstoomuch Oh I loved this one! 8mo
suvata @Sarahreadstoomuch it was great on audio 8mo
43 likes2 comments
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Nalbuque
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Pickpick

Rly rly great book. Like… this book makes me want to be a better person 🤘🏽 and also 🤟🏽

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peanutnine
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Pickpick

So glad I finally read this one! Such a great character novel, looking at struggles w/in the deaf community - debates on cochlear implants, integration in society, & family dynamics. I liked the multiple POVs of different perspectives & the small sections explaining ASL techniques or history of deaf culture. This one really makes you think about privilege & the systemic problem of forcing deaf people to adapt instead of adapting the world for them

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monalyisha
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“True Biz?” There‘s no way I can pick a winner between my March & April selections right now. That‘ll have to wait. 🙈 But I did fill the grid in a *little* more! Step by step.

#2023ReadingBracket @chasjjlee

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monalyisha
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Pickpick

WOW! This powerful book is set largely at a boarding school for the deaf & centers around a girl who finds access to language (ASL) & community for the first time in any meaningful way. The author is an instructor of Deaf Studies & part of the deaf community. The characters are brilliantly written & complicated ethics are plumbed in an authentic way. I understand that some readers may be mad about the ambiguous ending…but it feels authentic, too.

monalyisha 1/2: What‘s missing from the above review, due to character limitation, is A LOT more gushing. 🤩😍 I truly loved this novel & look forward to checking out Novic‘s other work. It‘s also missing mention of the book‘s unique form (inclusion of ASL signs & diagrams), & how Novic says that being a member of the deaf community has made her a better writer. I can see, immediately, how that could be the case. 👇🏻 (edited) 13mo
monalyisha 2/2: To be fluent in ASL is to think *so deeply* about what is being said, how it‘s being said, & what‘s not being said. Those skills are obviously so directly transferable! The little I learned about the language hinted at such richness. I also didn‘t mention the portrayal of the punk rock scene, the discussion about bodily autonomy, or intersectional deafness and the inclusion of BASL (Black American Sign Language). I‘m in awe. (edited) 13mo
marleed I loved this book and learned so much. I was so disappointed when my IRL bookclub didn‘t pick my selection of this as a 2023 discussion. 13mo
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monalyisha @marleed It was actually my pick for my IRL Book Club (not to rub it in!); our meeting is tomorrow night. 13mo
sarahbarnes Great review! I was really blown away by this one, too. 13mo
marleed @monalyisha I want to be in your bookclub! 13mo
monalyisha @marleed It‘s a pretty good one! We‘ve been meeting via videochat since 2012. It‘s with friends from college who are now scattered across the country. 13mo
72 likes2 stack adds7 comments
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bio_chem06
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I enjoyed this book. It made me think of my husband‘s grandmother, who taught at the Ohio deaf school (above) in Columbus. She always had the best stories. Kids try to get away with lots of things when they don‘t understand noise or volume😀

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RaeLovesToRead
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#bookspinbingo @TheAromaofBooks 💕

Here's my Bookspin card for March. My TBRtarot pick was already on the list so I substituted Legends & Lattes.

Looks good to me! 🥰

LiteraryinLawrence I definitely recommend fitting in True Biz! My whole family read it over the summer so we could discuss it and it was thumbs up from everyone. 💗 1y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 1y
RaeLovesToRead @LiteraryinLawrence I'll be reading it in the next few months even if I don't squeeze it in this month 😊 Glad you all liked it! I'm using it for #pop23 - a book featuring two different languages 1y
62 likes3 comments
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peanutnine
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February Waters was nine years old when she—in the middle of math class, in front of everyone—stabbed herself in the ear with a number two Ticonderoga.

#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

bthegood that line made me stop - wow - hope the rest of the book is as good as that first line 🙂 1y
peanutnine @bthegood so far I really like it, it's very engaging 1y
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CBee
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Clwojick Great matches! 1y
59 likes1 comment
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CBee
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this! I will say that I wish the ending weren‘t so abrupt - not that all endings have to be tidy, but I definitely wanted more resolution? Big props to the author for teaching me loads about deaf culture - so much I didn‘t know. Now to find a #pantone2023 match 🤔

CBee I‘m counting this for #booked2023 #lovetriangle 😊 You could say there are two love triangles in this book! @Cinfhen @BarbaraTheBibliophage @alisiakae 1y
Cinfhen Clever choice for prompt!! 1y
CBee @Cinfhen thank you 😊 1y
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Suet624 I was very disappointed with the ending. 1y
CBee @Suet624 me too! It was so…..rushed. I want to know what happens next! Just a bit more of a resolution would‘ve been nice 🤦‍♀️ 1y
Suet624 Exactly. 1y
batsy I felt the same about how it ended. 1y
CBee @batsy glad I‘m not the only one! I almost wish there could be some sort of sequel 😂 1y
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CBee
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“Being motherless was different than being fatherless. It was primal, the archetype for human suffering, like losing the North Star.”
This just put into words how it feels - to lose both parents is awful, but there is just something slightly harder about being motherless. Like you‘ve lost your anchor 😔

peaKnit Amen, I‘m recently motherless and it‘s such a deep loss. I think it‘s daunting when you think that someone‘s who loved you with their whole heart is gone, kind of rudderless. Thanks for sharing this, I‘ve been thinking about this today. (edited) 1y
CBee @peaknit I am so sorry 😢 I truly do understand how you‘re feeling, and remember how surreal it seemed. It always seemed so….wrong to me. Like, how can I not have a mom now? It still sometimes doesn‘t make sense and it‘ll be 3 years in May. My heart is with you ♥️ 1y
peaKnit Thank you, and yes, surreal is such a good word. It seems so strange how the world keeps spinning some days but then I was lucky to have her, so I try to remember that. Take care ❤️ 1y
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CBee @peaknit yes, I totally agree. I won‘t say it gets easier, but for me, once I was able to focus more on the good memories and not the sad things, it helped. You take care as well ♥️ 1y
thebackyardgnome This quote hits hard. My mum's yahrzeit was just a few days ago. I'm really sorry you have to know how it feels. May your parents' memories be a blessing to you ✨🌌 💖 1y
CBee @thebackyardgnome thank you, and the same to you ♥️ I‘m sorry for your loss as well 🙁 1y
thebackyardgnome @CBee thank you and have a lovely week 💕 1y
CBee @thebackyardgnome you too 💕 1y
53 likes8 comments
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SanjanaGhosh
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Mehso-so

Book 10 for this year!

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dariazeoli
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Pickpick

Just finished my first #AuldLangSpine read and can‘t recommend it enough! I‘m ashamed to to admit my knowledge of Deaf culture is limited to what I saw in the show Switched at Birth, so I learned some surprising things here (Alexander Graham Bell, anyone?). I was also infuriated on behalf of Charlie, Elliot, and Sky.

My only complaint is how quickly the ending crept up. I wonder what comes next for everyone.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BeckyWithTheGoodBooks I‘m so glad you enjoyed it! 1y
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BennettBookworm
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I had a blast doing the OWLS HP reading challenge this year! Finished 39 prompts in all! Here are my faves from the challenge. Now I‘m excited to start planning the new challenge for 2023, themed around Quidditch!
#owlsreadingchallenge

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sarahbellum
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#12booksof2022

I read some real stinkers in June, but I also read this gem of a novel, one of my top reads of the year. #camplitsy gave me the needed to push to read it this year instead of having it languish on my miles long TBR

Suet624 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 for Camplitsy. 1y
Andrew65 Looks a fun read. 1y
Ruthiella I loved this one too! 1y
58 likes3 comments
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AshleyHoss820
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@LiteraryinLawrence really knocked it out of the park for our #jolabokaflodswap 😄 This book was such a fantastic pick and I am really excited to read it soon! I am so grateful for the chocolates as well! I have to agree: I felt the Wilber buds were better than Hershey‘s kisses too! Thank you so much! Whatever you and yours celebrate this season, Allison, I hope it was magical! ☺️🧡📚 Chelle, thank you for hosting! Such a wonderful idea!

35 likes1 stack add
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CoveredInRust
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@BennettBookworm Thank you so much! This book sounds AMAZING and the card is so so pretty 😍

Happy Holidays! 🎉

And thank you again to @MaleficentBookDragon for hosting the exchange!

BennettBookworm Yayyyy! 🥹I‘m so so thrilled! Happy holidays and can‘t wait to hear what you think of this book! 1y
Bren912 Oh my goodness! We love the same chocolate!! 1y
CoveredInRust @Bren912 I've actually never had these ones but they were SO GOOD 1y
CoveredInRust @BennettBookworm I think I have heard of it in passing but didn't know what it was about. But reading the jacket has me i n t r i g u e d. 😍 1y
BennettBookworm 😍😍😍 1y
35 likes1 stack add5 comments
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dariazeoli
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It‘s always exciting when the #ALSpine match lists arrive, and @BeckyWithTheGoodBooks has great picks to choose from! As usual, I‘m going to take my potential reads beyond January!

The checked books are ones I‘ve already read, so to start 2023 I‘ll be reading a couple from my owned TBR 📚and a couple library reads 🔍. I already have True Biz waiting on my airplane moded Kindle, and Night Film was a #NYWD pick I never got to a couple years ago.

monalyisha Oh, I like your emoji/symbol system! I thought this nonfic pic looked totally engrossing. 1y
dariazeoli @monalyisha Thanks! And that book is definitely one I‘d like to get to in 2023. I can‘t believe the tsunami was that long ago 1y
BeckyWithTheGoodBooks This is awesome! I will get organized and post soon! ❤️ 1y
33 likes3 comments
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jlhammar
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Can‘t believe it is time for this already! Which gets your vote? I went with tagged. #BOTM

TEArificbooks I did true biz too. 2y
See All 6 Comments
jlhammar @Megabooks I still need to read that one! Hope to start it soon. 2y
swishandflick I voted for Black Cake even though I haven't read it. Hoping it'll be a finalist so I can snag it for free 😂 2y
45 likes6 comments
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alisiakae
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Pickpick

I studied ASL and Deaf culture for 2 semesters in college when I had a brief interest in becoming a speech pathologist. I also spent a month at Gallaudet in DC.

I loved this excellent #OwnVoices novel that does not shy away from the controversy around CI, and the role (or withholding) of ASL in Deaf education and language acquisition. Also briefly explores BASL and racism within the Deaf community, something I definitely want to learn more about.

LibrarianRyan Vey cool 2y
KT1432 I keep postponing my library hold for this one. I hope to read it before the end of the year! 2y
HeatherBookNerd So good! 2y
marleed This book exposed me to so many things of I wish I was to my chagrin completely unaware. 2y
89 likes3 stack adds5 comments
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Centique
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Pickpick

Really enjoyed this book and learnt a lot about Deaf culture and the inequities in how Deaf people are treated by a society that expects everyone to be hearing. Told from the POVs of two deaf teenagers and the headmistress of their Deaf school. I most enjoyed the teenagers perspectives and how their family dynamics played out. Including information about ASL and Deaf history in between chapters was a great addition.⬇️

Centique I wanted a little more about Elliot though ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 2y
TrishB I enjoyed this one too 👍🏻 2y
batsy @Centique Yes, me too! 2y
Centique @batsy great minds think alike! 😘 2y
76 likes4 comments
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BennettBookworm
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Seventh #owlsreadingchallenge subject passed!!

Care of Magical Creatures:

🌟Niffler: a book with a shiny cover - True Biz
🌟Fantastic beasts: a book with an animal on the cover - Snow Child
🌟Unicorn: most anticipated book - Violin Conspiracy

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BennettBookworm
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Pickpick

THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING!! I want to recommend it to every single human I know. A master class in originality and writing that is just so COOL! I felt like reading it was a privilege. And SO educational, as someone who came in knowing next to nothing about ASL and Deaf communities.

I read this with my sisters and Mom as a markup book club - very grateful - so now I need to acquire my own copy!

Chelsea.Poole Agreed! 2y
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hclaird
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Pickpick

@Kimberlone definitely came through on this rec. I absolutely loved this book per her suggestion. As a former linguistics major and a brief student of ASL, I‘ve always been equally fascinated by Deaf culture as I am by manual language. I agree the ending was a bit of a fizzle but in many ways book‘s ending mirrored “the end” referenced in the book. I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in or limited knowledge of Deaf culture.

Kimberlone Agree the ending is anticlimactic, but I thought the insight into deaf culture was excellent. Would make a good combo with the movie CODA! 2y
13 likes1 comment
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JenReadsAlot
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this. My #doublespin for August @TheAromaofBooks

48 likes1 comment
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Lesliereadsalot
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Pickpick

A look into a community of deaf kids at their school. It‘s a subject I never really thought about and I liked learning about it. When I got my hearing aids, I was totally deaf for a few minutes as the molds in my ears took shape. And that‘s what it must be like for the deaf, absolute quiet. This story is about three kids coming to terms with their deafness and places in the world. You should find out about it.

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ncsufoxes
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Pickpick

I loved this one. I took sign language in college & loved it. I would have loved to take more classes but it wasn‘t possible. My professor was deaf & we didn‘t have an interpreter in the class so we had to learn quick. I went to UNC Greensboro for my undergrad & the surrounding area had always had a large deaf population due to a school for the deaf being there (it‘s not closed but there are 2 others still in NC). In class we had discussions about

ncsufoxes Deaf culture & the impact of cochlear implants. This was a quick read & I loved the additional info that the author included (I didn‘t realize how horrible a person Alexander Graham Bell was). It just is another story that gives me a lot to think about in terms of ableism, how a disability is defined, & how special education services are delivered. #bookspin book Pic of my new bookshelf & chair (edited) 2y
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 2y
willaful I also took ASL in college! If you haven't read Being Seen, I highly recommend it. 2y
ncsufoxes @willaful thank you for the recommendation. I am always looking for more disability stories to read. 2y
19 likes4 comments
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Magpiegem
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When all of your library reservations arrive at the same time… and it‘s the summer holidays… and you have guests visiting… and you are dog sitting… when am I going to get these read 🤷🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ 📚

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Mdion1993
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Pickpick

A novel that centers on Deaf teenagers and their headmistress as they navigate school, hormones, and civil liberty.

Rebellious ✨ Educational ✨ Bridging

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BeckyWithTheGoodBooks
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2Q22 results are in for my favorite books of the year! Looking forward to the second half of 2022 and crushing my reading goals (hopefully).

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Lindy
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Pickpick

I joined the library waiting list after @ValerieAndBooks recommended this. It didn‘t come in time for #CampLitsy but I‘m really glad to have read it anyway. If you‘re not already familiar with the novel, it‘s set at a school for the Deaf in the US—lots of Deaf culture & history + disability rights issues + the woman in charge of the school is a lesbian. All good stuff! Rustling noise is used in the audiobook to indicate manual (ASL) dialog. #LGBTQ

Christine I loved the rustling! 2y
Lindy @Christine Me too. Simple yet effective. 2y
squirrelbrain That‘s really interesting about the rustling… I‘m glad you enjoyed it and sorry it came too late for #camplitsy. @Megabooks @BarbaraBB 2y
43 likes3 comments
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Lindy
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Friday Reads July 8 - In which my books include folk of all kinds: queer; Canadian; Deaf; Indigenous; fey; & affected by war
https://youtu.be/XO9dLINXROc

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Kitta
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Adding True Biz to my #LGBTQbookbingo! @Kenyazero

🌈 Set in a high school!

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BeckyWithTheGoodBooks
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Pickpick

Absolutely fascinating novel centering around a School for the Deaf, its students, and headmistress. Novic, herself deaf, provides a window into deaf culture and an unflinching look at the challenges deaf individuals face. Novic intersperses A.S.L. and deaf culture history throughout the novel, creating a learning experience for the reader that evokes empathy and awareness that can truly affect change. I was blown away. True biz. 5⭐️

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Kitta
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Pickpick

Great story about life at a school for the Deaf! Glad it was a #CampLitsy pick! I really enjoyed the pages of explaining ASL and other aspects of Deaf culture. I knew a bit about it before but learning there‘s a Black ASL as a result of segregation in the schools was definitely eye opening.

I‘m going to try and learn a few more signs myself!

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AmyK1
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this look into Deaf culture and appreciated all the history and background that was shared. I liked the characters, especially Charlie and Austin. Like others have said, it ended rather abruptly and I would have liked a bit more at the end.

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LiteraryinLawrence
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Pickpick

Finished this today for a summer book club with my family. As a longtime ASL learner I really loved the foray into Deaf culture and all the surrounding topics. I also liked the writing style and especially the storyline of Feb. I was surprised at the end because I felt like it just ended with no resolutions to the plot lines. Is it just me? So I‘d say I liked the journey more than the destination.

robinb Sweet kitty…such beautiful coloring! 2y
AmyK1 I just finished this and feel the same way 2y
BarbaraBB I agree too. 2y
batsy I agree, I didn't quite get what was the aim with that ending. 2y
91 likes1 stack add4 comments
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thereadingpal
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Here's my #bookreport for last week and #weeklyforecast for this week. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish all four books 🙄 but I think it'll be hard.

I finished two books for an exam that was nullified after I took it because according to them some people cheated. I also finished and reviewed Since Sinai.

I'm reading La banalità del bene, L'amore nell'ebraismo, and True Biz. Will start A History of Herbalism soon

@Cinfhen

Cinfhen That‘s so frustrating about your exam!!! Have a good week 2y
rwmg How frustrating. Does it happen often in your country's education system? 2y
thereadingpal @Cinfhen thank you!!! You too! 2y
thereadingpal @rwmg it depends, really, on the school/uni i guess. The Government forced us to take these 24 extra credits if we wanted to teach, and the exams are really hard. A fellow student (a snitch, ugh) told the Exam Commission that questions were circulating from the previous exam session and they nullified the exam. I hadn't seen those questions. I studied 4 stupid books. It's highly unfair. 2y
14 likes4 comments
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Kimberlone
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Pickpick

I appreciated the peek into deaf culture that the book provided, especially the controversies over cochlear implants, and the characters‘ perspectives coming different backgrounds within the deaf/ASL world. The brief forays into ASL linguistics and deaf history were super interesting. Overall, the plot was a bit weak, though, and the book ended kind of abruptly without much resolution. I was hoping for more payoff w/the revolution subplot.

BkClubCare You review 💯 2y
63 likes1 comment
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squirrelbrain
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…and here‘s our final question for this book, and for this month of #camplitsy.

Tomorrow look out for another post, where you‘ll have the chance to vote for your choice between True Biz and How High We Go In The Dark. We‘ll also remind you shortly of the upcoming schedule for July.

I‘ve really enjoyed being your Camp Counselor for this month and seeing all of your fabulous thoughts and opinions on the two books!

See All 41 Comments
Chelseabillups30 I wish I would‘ve known that there was a guided/group reading experience going on for True Biz! It‘s one of the last ones I got from BOTM that I‘ve been truly looking forward to diving into!! 2y
Bookwormjillk Thanks @squirrelbrain it‘s been a great reading month! I knew painfully little about deaf culture and would love to read more if anyone has any recommendations. The whole story of the CI industry and failures is horrifying. 2y
Soubhiville Well put @Bookwormjillk , I feel the same way. It‘s eye opening, I knew next to nothing about deaf culture. The list of school closings at the end of the book was crushing. Thanks for hosting @squirrelbrain ! (edited) 2y
TrishB Thanks Helen- I really enjoyed the insight into the deaf community and made me a lot more aware. 2y
Suet624 I appreciate how much I learned. The author did a great job of providing so much detail with the illustrations as well. After reading the book I feel as if this is another culture that is not accepted for who they are and for the challenges they face. I'm sorry. I'm finding I can't be particularly coherent because I want to go on a rant about politics and human rights. So I'll stop now. :) 2y
BkClubCare I was glad to learn more and enjoyed the characters. The story itself is already fading but my overall appreciation for this book will stay strong. 2y
Cathythoughts I learned a lot about deaf culture, I knew next to nothing. What hit me hard was the birth experience , February‘s mother made up her mind to have the baby at home, ‘ It would be much scarier even dangerous to give birth in a place where no one knew sign language. The deaf community was replete with hospital horror stories, particularly of the labour and delivery variety.‘ 2y
Cathythoughts Thanks Helen for all your hard work here. 😘 You‘re a great camper. @squirrelbrain (edited) 2y
squirrelbrain @Chelseabillups30 - oh, I‘m sorry you missed out. If you don‘t already, you should follow @LitsyEvents so you can catch anything like this in the future. 2y
squirrelbrain Great idea @Bookwormjillk - hopefully someone will let us know if they have any recommendations for further reading. 2y
squirrelbrain @Suet624 - I completely get how you feel right now. 😞 2y
Megabooks @Cathythoughts I totally agree. It must have been a nightmare before sign language interpreters we‘re required by law. I enjoyed learning about ASL grammar. That was fascinating, which probably makes me a bit of a nerd. 🤓 I was saddened by all the closures of Deaf schools. That really hit me hard at the end. Also the information about what an a**hole Bell was. Terrible, terrible person. 2y
Bookwormjillk @Suet624 yeah, it‘s hard not to fall into a whole bodily autonomy rant right now. 2y
batsy I learned so much about Deaf culture & the little details about how to get by in an ableist world that is made for an idea of the "perfect" functioning body were eye-opening. I was completely unaware of the CI industry & I thought the book succeeded really well in showing the dangers of "experimentation" on people's bodies. Again @Suet624 makes a great point about bodily autonomy—that aspect of Charlie's struggle was the part that moved me a lot. 2y
MicheleinPhilly Like others, I became painfully aware of my own ignorance surrounding the Deaf community. I‘m not feeling particularly chatty today 😔 but thank you Helen for a great month of fun. 2y
rockpools So much to take away from this - it was the only one on the #CampLitsy list I was aware of going in, and I got a huge amount from reading along with you. Thanks Helen! For me, I think the diversity of experiences of deaf families really came through - it‘s like a whole different class system- and I knew nothing about the CI debate. That was really eye-opening. 2y
batsy Thank you so much for leading a great discussion @squirrelbrain and I've enjoyed reading along with fellow campers 💕 2y
jlhammar I learned so much and am so thankful for it. Sara writes in her Author's Note “It's my hope that we will find allies in the hearing world willing to stand with us and fight for our self-governance, dignity, and the value of human diversity before the effects of educational isolation and genetic manipulation are irreversible.“ Yes, yes, yes!! 2y
jlhammar The artist, Brittany Castle, also added so much with her illustrations. You can actually order some of her work here:
https://brittanycastle.com/
2y
jlhammar @squirrelbrain Thank you, Helen, for hosting this month! It's been great. 2y
Susanita I was fascinated by the discussions of sign language, how it evolved differently in different communities and why, and the grammatical customs. Also the history of DPN: I remember the installation of Dr. Jordan but didn‘t know much about the background of the situation. 2y
Cinfhen Exactly what @BkClubCare said!! I really appreciated the author sharing her knowledge with us - it was a great reading month!! I can‘t believe our first month of camp is over!! 2y
MrsV Embarrassingly I did not know much about deaf culture. I knew about the implants, and a little about the controversy with them. I had no idea, and was incensed, that Drs told parents not to learn, or let their children learn sign language. 2y
squirrelbrain What a great quote to pick out @Cathythoughts - it really makes us think about everything that we take for granted in our ‘hearing‘ world. 2y
squirrelbrain @batsy @MicheleinPhilly - I think we all learned so much from this book, of course about Deaf culture, but also we learned about how little we know about other marginalised communities tha5 we may not even have considered before. 2y
squirrelbrain @BkClubCare @Cinfhen - it‘s great that everyone has taken so many learning points away from this book, even if not everyone loved the storyline. 2y
squirrelbrain You‘re welcome @Cathythoughts @Bookwormjillk @Soubhiville @TrishB @MicheleinPhilly @jlhammar - I‘ve loved hosting and, of course, couldn‘t have done it without my fellow counsellors @BarbaraBB and @Megabooks ! I‘m looking forward to another 2 months of great discussions! 2y
Ruthiella Thanks for hosting @squirrelbrain ! The discussions have been so interesting to read! My biggest take away is the richness of ASL. I love languages and idioms and I (ignorantly) had no I idea how sign language works, that it wasn‘t a 1:1 translation. 2y
Deblovestoread I am grateful for the learning experience this book provided. Thanks for hosting, Helen! 😊 2y
Hooked_on_books Oh man, I learned so much! From the structure of ASL to the existence of black sign to the problems with CIs, there‘s so much to be aware of! I thought this book was great and also quite enjoyed the discussion. Thanks for counseling, Helen! 2y
sarahbarnes Thank you so much for hosting this month @squirrelbrain! My most powerful takeaways from the book were around the family dynamics of deafness, the debate with CIs and ASL, and the racism within sign language that exists. I learned a lot! 2y
squirrelbrain You‘re welcome @Kdgordon88 @Hooked_on_books @sarahbarnes - so good to have learned so much from a book that we all (mostly!) enjoyed. 2y
Kimberlone I‘m sorry I missed the discussion yesterday! I appreciated the peek into deaf culture that the book provided, especially the controversies over cochlear implants, and the characters coming come different perspectives and backgrounds within the deaf/ASL world. The brief forays into ASL linguistics and deaf history were super interesting. Overall, the plot was a bit weak, though, and the book ended kind of abruptly without much resolution. 2y
squirrelbrain I think you‘re in the majority there @Kimberlone - most Littens loved the learning aspects of this book, but many found the story a bit weak. 2y
Kitta I think the most interesting for me (since I already knew quite a bit about Deaf culture) was learning about the affects of segregation and the origins and usage of BASL. And more about racism in the Deaf community. 2y
Lindy @Bookwormjillk I have some recommendations for you, Jill: the movie CODA; the graphic novel El Deafo; and the YA illustrated novel 2y
Bookwormjillk @Lindy thanks!! 2y
squirrelbrain Thanks for posting those! @Lindy 2y
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blurb
squirrelbrain
post image

Our second question of the week is above.

Let us know if you were satisfied with the ending and what you think happens next for all of the characters, including Austin, Charlie and February.

Looking forward to your thoughts!

See All 39 Comments
Soubhiville I was satisfied with the ending, though I was sad at the thought of the school closing. I think they got away with the protest action, but I doubt it really made a difference beyond the news and people briefly talking about it. I think February and Mel worked it out, and February probably moved on to another school or maybe worked in the community to provide after school help for her former students as well as a place for them to be together. 2y
Bookwormjillk I thought it was pretty unrealistic, but I understood the feeling of we played by your rules and you dismissed us, so now we‘re going to blow things up. Not saying I agree, but I do get it. I was hoping the school would somehow be saved. 2y
Soubhiville I hope Austin and Charlie were able to talk together to his parents about Charlie‘s CI experience and convince them not to put Sky through that. As far as educational futures, that‘s tough. I don‘t know what they could have done to restore the chance of success the school gave them. 2y
TrishB I was ok with the ending. But sad about the school and the impact that was going to have on them. 2y
Suet624 I feel in the minority here. I was completely unsatisfied with the ending. There were so many unanswered questions and so much left up in the air. Considering how much time was spent building up the details, the ending was abrupt and unsatisfying. If they had said there would be a second book, I'd be more understanding. Not sure I would have read it though. 2y
BkClubCare Uh, I somehow have a “can never remember how books end exactly” flaw 🤷🏻‍♀️ But, sad about the school, happy that our school headmistress “rescues” the kids in True Biz empathy, and then… questions. Set up for a sequel possibly? What is going to happen to Charlie?! Maybe a 10 year out sequel would interest me… 2y
Cathythoughts @Suet624 I don‘t think I‘d be reading a second book here either, but there was an abrupt ending. @Bookwormjillk I was also hoping the school would be magically saved. 👍🏻♥️ 2y
BarbaraBB I am with @Suet624 , the ending felt rushed and unrealistic. 2y
batsy I'm largely with @Suet624 and it left me frustrated, tbh. An ending that feels a bit too convenient. 2y
squirrelbrain I too thought the ending was rather rushed @Suet624 @Cathythoughts @BarbaraBB @batsy - I wasn‘t keen on the ‘bomb‘ storyline and thought the school closure storyline could have been extended in a different way to explain more of the likely consequences for the students. 2y
squirrelbrain Great thoughts @Soubhiville - I love the idea that Austin‘s family could learn from Charlie, and that she could learn from them of course too. 2y
Megabooks Another camper with @Suet624 for all the plot she laid out over 400 pages, I would‘ve liked a more concrete ending. I do think February and Mel worked things out, but I wonder what February will do for a job. Maybe she can coordinate deaf education through the superintendent‘s office or school board. 2y
Megabooks @Soubhiville I hope as well that Sky avoids a CI. I feel like the kids‘ thoughts on this were constantly marginalized and that‘s partly what led to the bombs at the end. It was all around unfortunate and unsatisfactory. 2y
Soubhiville @Megabooks I think you‘re right, that the kids‘ feeling of helplessness between Sky‘s implant and the school closing plus Charlie‘s mom wanting her to have another surgery made them feel like a big gesture that couldn‘t be ignored might be the only way to get the attention of the adults in their lives to see them. I get that rage and frustration. (ESP at this moment after yesterday‘s supreme ct decision. I want to rage too.) 2y
Soubhiville I understand the desire for a more wrapped up ending, and that would have felt more satisfying. But I think the open ending is more realistic when you consider all of the real life deaf schools closing. I think the author may have chosen to leave things that way because that‘s the way it feels to the families- what do we do now? How will our kids survive and thrive? It left me with a feeling of wanting to help, wanting to try to fix a broken⬇️ 2y
Soubhiville System. Maybe she wants us as readers to feel the frustration that not only these characters but the actual community feels? 2y
jlhammar Maybe I was reading too much into it, but like @Soubhiville I felt like the ending being unresolved sent a sort of message, especially after reading the Author's Note. A sort of call to action, to be a Deaf ally. What will happen to these valuable and endangered institutions like River Valley? It is up to all of us. 2y
rockpools @Soubhiville @jlhammer I do like your reading of this! I wasn‘t dissatisfied with the ending (although I‘m sure the bomb plot was from a totally different book). I would love to read a sequel following the consequences of the school closure 2y
jlhammar @rockpools In one of the podcast interviews I listened to, Sara said she wasn't keen on writing a sequel. Who knows though, she could always change her mind. 2y
Susanita I was mildly dissatisfied with the ending. Maybe not tie everything up with a bow, but perhaps even a few more pages to bring a little more resolution? Partly it was because I really liked (most of) the characters and wanted more time with them. 2y
BarbaraBB Wonderful discussion again. This adds so much to the book! Thanks Helen!! #camplitsy rocks 💕 @Megabooks 2y
Cinfhen The ending was definitely disappointing but honestly I felt much of the storyline was on the weaker side. 2y
MrsV I usually don‘t mind an open ended ending, but this on left me unsatisfied. I know how hard it is to get public schools funded, let alone ones for special needs. I hate the thought these kids were thrown back into the system that really isn‘t equipped for them. I also choose to believe that Austin‘s parents did not go ahead with the CI for Sky. 2y
squirrelbrain Great perception @Soubhiville @jlhammar - I hadn‘t considered that the open-endedness was a deliberate plot device to show how the Deaf community (and perhaps other marginalised communities?) feel. 2y
squirrelbrain I usually dislike incomplete endings @Susanita @MrsV @Cinfhen and I did in this case too. Although I now see a reason for this thanks to @Soubhiville and @jlhammar. 2y
Ruthiella I did not mind the open ending at all. To me, tying up all the plot strands would have been too neat and tidy. And personally, I like imagining for myself the “untold” parts of novels often. But I do understand that this doesn‘t work for others. (edited) 2y
Deblovestoread I am with @Suet624 The ending was abrupt and left too many loose threads. I‘m not sure I wanted a longer book with nicely wrapped up story lines but maybe an epilogue? (edited) 2y
Hooked_on_books I remember being really satisfied at the end of this book. When it‘s done right, I think open endings are awesome, because isn‘t that life after all? We don‘t get all the answers and neither do the characters. Sadly, I think undervaluing and closing schools like this one is all too common, without much thought for the impact it will have. 2y
sarahbarnes I agree with many here that I felt disappointed in the ending - not everything needed to be resolved, but it felt like nothing was. 2y
squirrelbrain I agree @Kdgordon88 @sarahbarnes - it would have been nice to have at least *some* of the loose ends tied up. 2y
Leniverse I'm a bit disappointed in the ending. The news item at the very end could be a hint that they will keep fighting, but instead of bombs I would have liked to see civil disobedience, teachers and students occupying the school, chaining themselves to the gates, writing to the newspapers. It seems like they had one moment of rage and then gave up. February was so passive I don't see how she managed to run a school. 2y
Leniverse At the very least I'd have liked to know if Charlie's mother would give in about the CI. 2y
Kimberlone The whole revolution subplot ended so anticlimactically, the ending was just really lackluster. Maybe it needed another 20-50 pages to provide some more satisfying resolution. 2y
squirrelbrain I agree @Leniverse @kimberlone - I think it would have been better to have seen extended, less violent, protests with some kind of resolution at the end. 2y
Kitta I felt it could have done with another chapter or two, the ending was kind of abrupt and just felt rushed. I don‘t mind the openness of some of the storylines not being resolved. Very interesting theory by @Soubhiville and @jlhammar though! I like that interpretation of the ending. (edited) 2y
squirrelbrain The ending did feel rather sudden didn‘t it? @Kitta 2y
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blurb
squirrelbrain
post image

Welcome back to this week‘s #camplitsy discussions; Barbara, Meg and I are happy to host you again! This week we‘re talking about True Biz, all the way to the end of the book.

We asked a question about Slash last week, so we‘re returning back to him again. We‘d love to hear what you thought about him and his friends and their role in the story, plus did your views on him change later in the book?

See All 29 Comments
TrishB I‘m assuming their role was to offer the ‘alternative‘ experience of the world to the teenagers. I don‘t think it added much, though I think it highlighted wanting to belong. In a way Slash etc did treat them ‘normally‘. 2y
BarbaraBB I liked that the reader was led to have an opinion about Slash one way or the other while he turned out to be the only one not judging Charly and Austin - he completely accepted them. 2y
Soubhiville I have mixed feelings. I appreciate that he didn‘t try to control Charlie when he met Austin, and he seemed to be respectful of her choices. I don‘t usually identify with protesting in a way that destroys property or gets violent. But I found myself both cheering them on and being worried for their safety. 2y
Bookwormjillk I didn‘t really have strong feelings about him one way or the other. I thought that whole storyline was somewhat out of place, but I guess it gave outlet to the rage Charly and Austin were feeling. 2y
Suet624 @Bookwormjillk I'm with you. Felt out of place. 2y
BkClubCare @Soubhiville - everything you say here. 2y
Cathythoughts I agree with @Trishb that Slash did treat them ‘normally‘. They all experienced being young rebels together, and managed to find a way beyond hearing or not hearing , found a way to be together. 2y
batsy I'm also of the opinion that it felt out of place. Like it seemed that it was a kind of "revolutionary" aspect that was added but couldn't be developed further. However I did appreciate that Slash and friends treated Charli and her friends well and accepted them. 2y
squirrelbrain I agree @TrishB @Bookwormjillk @Suet624 @batsy - the ‘revolutionary‘ aspect, felt rather out of place and didn‘t add much to the story. 2y
squirrelbrain I too liked that he was was one of the only characters not judging Charlie @BarbaraBB @soubhiville but I wondered why he had to be a ‘baddy‘ - was the author saying that only ‘outcasts‘ understand Charlie‘s POV? 2y
BarbaraBB I think because it‘s confront us with our own singlemindedness. Because how bad was Slash in reality? It‘s all about prejudices I guess. 2y
Megabooks Very insightful @Bookwormjillk re: the rage that Charlie and Austin feeling towards CIs, but like @Soubhiville I don‘t condone violence, even if it is just property. There were probably better avenues to express that rage that maybe they couldn‘t see as teens/young adults. I did like that Slash tried to learn sign language and Deaf culture for Charlie. 2y
rockpools I agree with pretty much all of the above. I liked how easily Slash seemed to make Charlie feel comfortable, when few people did. The storyline might have been more effective if it hadn‘t gone to the extreme- or if it had time to build. Over time, it may have been believable to think that Charlie & Austin could get involved with extreme actions, in response to their experiences & rage. As it was tho, it was just very sudden & out of place. 2y
rockpools @squirrelbrain @BarbaraBB I wondered if the author was saying you don‘t have to be a model human to show some empathy. Slash learnt the basics, was aware that Charlie needed to lipread, & got on with it! Obviously it‘s not that simple - as an outsider he didn‘t have anything invested in Charlie (apart from the obvious), unlike her family - but that stripped away all the problems/CI politics etc and took it down to what worked for her. 2y
jlhammar I still felt like it was an important element of the book and it worked for me. I think Charlie being exposed to revolutionary thinking and actions via Slash (no matter how questionable) and then having it intersect with her learning about the Deaf President Now movement for the first time and then getting the devastating news of losing River Valley all led to the boiling point. 2y
Cinfhen I‘m with @Suet624 and @Bookwormjillk @batsy Slash seemed like a convenient plot device to add the revolutionary element to the story, which again in my opinion was a weak plot-line - 2y
MrsV Even though I agree Slash was used as a plot devise, I did end up liking him. He never judged Charlie or tried to shame or change her deafness. Other than her dad, he was the only hearing person to try to learn/use her language. 2y
squirrelbrain @rockpools @BarbaraBB - or maybe it is that the ‘model‘ humans are less than empathetic to others; they want everyone else to be the perfect model like themselves? 2y
Ruthiella Yes! I was worried that they would somehow take advantage of Charlie but the were in fact very accepting and accommodating. I don‘t know what it says about me, but their drug taking bothered me a lot more than their bomb making. I‘m also with @jhammar . In general, this book had a lot of plot, stuffed with it! But none of that bothered me. I thought it all worked. 2y
Deblovestoread I agree it felt out of place. If the goal was revolutionary wouldn‘t they already have a target? Would they have changed that plan so easily? Or did they really just want to blow stuff up. They did not come across as committed to a cause. 2y
Hooked_on_books I really liked the addition of Slash as a character. For me he represents nuance, which is so lacking in our everyday world, where we want everything to be binary. And he‘s not at all binary! He uses Charlie for sex but also doesn‘t other her for her deafness. He tosses her away but accepts her return. I didn‘t “like” him, but I appreciate his role. I was a little surprised by the turn to violence, but then it did fit with his character. 2y
sarahbarnes I agree that Slash could‘ve been integrated more into the story perhaps so it felt less out of place, but I do think it was interesting how accepting he and his friends were. They made fun of how young she was but nothing else. And I think he was the catalyst for her to want to act on her anger and protest in some way. 2y
squirrelbrain Great perceptive comments @Hooked_on_books @sarahbarnes - Slash had a lot of impact for a more ‘minor‘ character. 2y
Kimberlone I wanted more Slash! He seems like such a stereotype, but we learn along with Charlie that he has a lot more depth than originally assumed. 2y
Kitta I was a bit of a punk in high school and had a similar rage that I see in Slash and his friends. I wasn‘t surprised by the turn to violence. I knew what was coming as soon as they stole the slow cookers, so my opinion of them didn‘t really change from the first half. Maybe I‘m the only one here to identify with them though haha. 2y
squirrelbrain Yes, the cooker thing was a bit obvious wasn‘t it?! @Kitta 2y
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