Book Review: Snowsisters by Tom Wilinsky and Jen Sternick
When I’m reviewing books for professional publications, I stay quiet about them on social media. I’m always really excited once a review comes out to be able to talk about the book, finally! Here’s one of my most recent reviews, which originally appeared in the February 2018 School Library Journal.
Snowsisters by Tom Wilinsky, Jen Sternick (ISBN-13: 9781945053528 Publisher: Interlude Pr Publication date: 02/15/2018)
Gr 9 Up—A week at camp provides time for some serious self reflection for two very different girls. Farm girl Tess and Manhattanite Soph meet as roommates in rural New Hampshire at a young women’s writing conference. Soph, a lesbian who rarely hesitates to speak her mind, writes poetry while Tess, who is in a complicated relationship with a boy, writes fan fiction. Tess plans to join the military after high school and hopes this retreat will show her a bit about what life is like beyond her tiny town. What she finds are experiences that challenge her as a writer and as a person, pushing her to find her voice in more ways than one. Narrated by the protagonists in alternating chapters, the plot has potential, with an atmospheric setting filled with a diverse group of girls, but the execution is lacking. The large cast of characters is unmemorable, save trans-exclusionary feminist Chris who spends the entire novel spewing hate at Orly, who is transgender. Chris is constantly misgendering Orly, attempting to “investigate” her, and repeating how unsafe she feels. Tess and Soph do call her out and try to broker peace. Readers may be inclined to skip Tess’s lackluster fan fiction and Soph’s rather abysmal poetry. While the eventual ways Tess and Soph grow from their time together is meaningful (Tess finds her role as a leader and Soph begins to understand that not everyone can be loudly and openly out), getting there is a journey filled with largely forgettable and repetitive moments. VERDICT An additional purchase.—Amanda MacGregor, Parkview Elementary School, Rosemount, MN
Filed under: Book Reviews
About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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