About YA Book Shelf

Welcome to YA Book Shelf! When you want honest, independent ya novel reviews, then we hope that you make YABookShelf.com your first stop. In our book commentary, we’ll point out the good and the bad, our likes and dislikes, so you can make an informed decision about your next teen novel purchase.

Whether you have a craving for dystopian scenarios, gripping mysteries, light fantasy, horror, or something realistic, the magic of a fairy tale or a contemporary glimpse into a teen’s life, YABookShelf will help you find that the books that generate a lot of buzz, some favorites that we can’t forget from our own YA years, and everything in between. From time to time, we also will bring you contests, interviews with both up and coming and established YA authors, listicles with some recommended reads on a given topic, and news about what’s going in teen literature now.

Check out YABookShelf and let us know what you think. Feel free to make suggestions for the next novel we’ve gotta read – we’ll do our best to meet all requests.

If you are either a publisher or an author and would like me to check out your releases, please contact me by email at melissa[at]yabookshelf[dot]com or through my twitter account @YABookShelf. I can’t guarantee that the review will be positive, but you can expect fair, unflinchingly honest and thorough reviews from YA Book Shelf! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

  3 comments for “About YA Book Shelf

  1. Kathleen Wilson
    April 7, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Hi there! A friend of mine shared what she felt about your rebuttal to the Divergent article. I just wanted to share it with you and hear your perspective on what she expressed. “[I feel as though she] treats her rebuttal that the simulation is in Tris’s mind as if it completely demolishes the opposition. It doesn’t. The message of agency is still there for the teens in the audience, whether it came from an authentic source or from Tris’s subconscious. The issue isn’t about who believes the message, the issue is that the message is present.”

  2. April 8, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Thanks for commenting, Kathleen! I understand your friend’s point, which suggests that there may be still a message of agency in the scene regardless of whether Tris is under simulation or not. Personally, I don’t think that adding a rape to a movie where one never existed before could ever be positive, but my point in the argument wasn’t to demolish everyone who said that it was positive. In fact, I’m glad that Beth Lalonde and some other people could see it in this way.

    My point was to refute Lalonde’s argument that it was positive, which she did solely by saying that the community congratulated Tris. I think this argument on Lalonde’s part was a fundamental misreading / misunderstanding of the movie. There might be people who still see something positive or a message of agency in the scene, but it can’t be positive for the main reason that Lalonde states if Tris is giving herself a subconscious pat on the back. There’s a big difference with someone thinking they’ve done a good job vs. the community thinking that they’ve done a good job.

    When in Steubenville, a young woman who was raped by multiple members of the football team, but the rapists were protected by their coach despite the evidence they took at the crime scene and news reporters focused on the poor young men whose lives are now “ruined,” it’s hard to imagine the community would support the survivor, even when they should. In that case, many other anonymous people on the internet took to blaming her further, saying that if she hadn’t been drinking, then she wouldn’t have been raped. Victim blaming is a major problem in our society, and I think the reason Lalonde found the scene to be positive related to her belief that the community in the Divergent movie was congratulating Tris for being able to fight off Four. So for me, this distinction between the community accepting Tris and Tris congratulating herself was the key to showing where her argument was false. Your friend’s argument, that there is still a positive message, is another argument entirely, but if she were to give a complete argument for why she saw it as such, I’d potentially be able to argue against her points. As it stands, she is stating something without giving any supporting evidence, but that said, I’m glad you asked me to speak to her concern about my argument.

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