Politics and Sexual Violence in PLUS ONE, a guest post by author Elizabeth Fama (and a GIVEAWAY)
Sexual violence seems to be an issue my brain wants to work on when I write books. I’m so glad that readers like Karen are thinking about it too, and engaging the literary world in conversation.
I thought the politics of the situation were dead on and were in fact the most compelling part of the story….The sexual violence aspects of it — and to me, any type of unwanted sexual contact is a form of violence — definitely played into it. That scene with Gigi and the Hour Guard, uggh. Also, interesting because I have read several [books] recently where sexual favors are coerced from young girls. I’ve been wanting to write a thing about this. Of course there is also the scene with Sol and D’Arcy that is really a beautiful scene about consensual sex and caring.
There’s a third sexual encounter in the book that’s also related to the political theme (but much more subtly): Sol’s encounter in the gangway with Ace when she’s only eleven. It’s an experience I think a lot of girls have, and it’s on the spectrum of sexual violence (even though it may seem relatively “harmless,” and Ace himself is underage). Sol believes his kissing and fondling are affectionate–that he must “like” her. She has a crush on him after that, and thinks she wants it to happen again, until she’s the same age he was when he did it and she sees his behavior for what it was (an older boy taking sexual advantage of a child). To me this has a (granted, very subtle) symmetry with the Day/Night policy, which people have accepted at face value as a restriction that was put in place to protect us, and are only slowly coming to realize is wrong. Sometimes breaches of rights present themselves as benign at first, and confuse us into not resisting.
About PLUS ONE:
Divided by day and night and on the run from authorities, star-crossed young lovers unearth a sinister conspiracy in this compelling romantic thriller.
Seventeen-year-old Soleil Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller prohibited by law from going out during the day. When she fakes an injury in order to get access to and kidnap her newborn niece—a day dweller, or Ray—she sets in motion a fast-paced adventure that will bring her into conflict with the powerful lawmakers who order her world, and draw her together with the boy she was destined to fall in love with, but who is also a Ray.
Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17934493-plus-one?from_search=true
Buy Links Amazon / Barnes and Noble
ELIZABETH FAMA is the YA author most recently of Plus One, an alternate-history thriller set in contemporary Chicago. Her other books include Monstrous Beauty, a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection and an Odyssey honor winner, and Overboard, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a society of Midland Authors honor book, and a nominee for five state awards. A graduate of the University of Chicago, where she earned a B.A. in biology and an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. in economics, she lives with (and cannot live without) her boisterous, creative family in Chicago.
March 31st – Fiction Fare
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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