Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Review: The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg

Title: The Porcupine of Truth
Author: Bill Konigsberg
Year Published: 2015

Genre: YA fiction (LGBTQ)
Pages: 325
Rating: 5 out of 5

Location (my 2016 Google Reading map)USA (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and California. But mostly, Montana)

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school's library

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Carson Smith isn't thrilled to be spending the summer with his estranged dad in Billings, Montana. But then he meets Aisha Stinson, the most beautiful girl he's ever seen. And the smartest. And the funniest. They connect like he never has with anyone... Also she's a lesbian. So there's that.

Carson's dad is still bitter about the disappearance of his dad more than thirty years earlier. When Carson and Aisha discover a box full of cards from his grandfather, some of them recent, they realize the old man is still out there somewhere. What are two bored teenagers in the middle of nowhere to do?

So Carson and Aisha begin a journey with no destination, to find a man who wanted to be lost, in an unreliable Dodge Neo, with one very prickly mascot. And what comes next is an extraordinary, enlightening, hilarious, inspiring, complete and utter mindblower of a road trip that will transform both their lives.

Review: This book won the Stonewall Children's and Young Adult Literature Award this year for YA LGBTQ literature. I read Out of the Pocket by Bill Konigsberg years ago and liked it so I definitely headed into this one with a positive attitude. And I so did not see where it was going!

The first half or so of this book is a great story about friendship and acceptance. Aisha and Carson need each other, are good for each other, and really help one another discover that they really are okay. They both have heavy stuff that they are dealing with (Aisha has been kicked out of her house and Carson's estranged dad is dying) and the issues are dealt with in an important and earnest way in this book. However, it's once Carson and Aisha hit the road that things start to pick up. Actually, not true. At first I wasn't sure where the road trip was going to take us (literally and figuratively), but it is so good and so important.

I totally see why this book won the Stonewall Award. It is funny, sensitive, interesting, and yes, of course, made me cry. I think I need a cry rating on these YA books. Seriously. A good cry while reading? It's the best. Tiring, but the best. So, go check this book out from your local library; it is so worth it!

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