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Lawless Spaces
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Perfect for fans of Deb Caletti, this "powerful, absorbing, and beautiful" (Booklist) coming-of-age novel in verse follows a teen girl who connects with the women of her maternal line through their...
Perfect for fans of Deb Caletti, this "powerful, absorbing, and beautiful" (Booklist) coming-of-age novel in verse follows a teen girl who connects with the women of her maternal line through their...
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Description-

  • Perfect for fans of Deb Caletti, this "powerful, absorbing, and beautiful" (Booklist) coming-of-age novel in verse follows a teen girl who connects with the women of her maternal line through their journals and comes to better understand her fraught relationship with her mother.
    Mimi's relationship with her mother has always been difficult. But lately, her mother has been acting more withdrawn than usual, leaving Mimi to navigate the tricky world of turning sixteen alone. What she doesn't expect is her mother's advice to start journaling—just like all the woman in her family before her. It's a tradition, she says. Expected.

    But Mimi takes to poetry and with it, a way to write down the realities of growing into a woman, the pains of online bullying, and the new experiences of having a boyfriend. And all in the shadows of a sexual assault case that is everywhere on the news—a case that seems to specifically rattle her mother.

    Trying to understand her place in the world, Mimi dives into the uncovered journals of her grandmother, great-grandmother, and beyond. She immerses herself in each of their lives, learns of their painful stories and their beautiful sprits. And as Mimi grows closer to each of these women, she starts to forge her own path. But it isn't until her mother's story comes to light that Mimi learns about the unyielding bonds of family and the relentless spirit of womanhood.

About the Author-

  • Corey Ann Haydu is the author of OCD Love Story, Rules for Stealing Stars, Eventown, and several other critically acclaimed young adult and children's novels. She currently teaches at the MFA Writing for Children program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughter. Learn more at CoreyAnnHaydu.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    November 15, 2021
    A girl searches for authenticity in a world that constantly judges her. The women in the Dovewick family have a few things in common. Short and buxom with cascading blond hair, they have the kinds of bodies other people feel free to project their assumptions onto. Starting on their 16th birthdays, each woman also keeps a journal in which they write poems about things not said aloud. Mimi has plenty to write about since she doesn't have many authentic connections in real life--she and her mother don't connect like they used to, and Mimi's many followers on social media only know the curated version she shares there. As Mimi reads the older generations' journals, she encounters women she never really knew, whether it's a different side of someone familiar, as with her mother, or untold stories, such as learning that in 1954 her great-grandmother was pressured into sex and then ditched by a manipulative boyfriend despite her unplanned pregnancy. Meanwhile, Mimi's mom publicly accuses a famous director of sexual assault, and the first Mimi hears about it is from the news. The verse journal excerpts making up this narrative powerfully convey generations of sexism surrounding women in many areas of their lives and ask whether that history is an emotional connection or a curse that is doomed to be repeated. By turns fragile, tough as nails, halting, and determined, these characters' voices command attention. The cast defaults to White. A compelling feminist story. (author's note) (Verse novel. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 29, 2021
    Haydu’s (Ever Cursed) powerfully told verse novel centers toxic familial legacies and women’s experiences with stereotyping and the male gaze via the lens of a single family’s tradition. On her 16th birthday, presumed-white social media influencer Mimi Dovewick’s mother gives her a blank notebook, instructing her to fill it as generations of Dovewicks have done before. The same day, Mimi’s mother disappears, having made accusations of sexual assault against a Hollywood director she knew when she was a 16-year-old aspiring actor. Alone, struggling with a memory of her own, and with only the journals of past Dovewick women to guide her, Mimi begins to unravel the experiences that have contributed to the creation of her own curated online persona. Through journal entries penned in 1924, 1954, 1971, and 1999, Mimi’s matrilineal ancestors, who share the teen’s short stature, curves, and blond hair, recount things otherwise left unsaid, including mistreatment by men and complicated relationships with their mothers. Haydu’s adept use of verse and structure add a sense of intimacy to the contemporarily resonant narrative, vividly conjuring the story and the women at its heart. Ages 14–up. Agent: Victoria Marini, Irene Goodman Literary.

  • Booklist

    December 15, 2021
    Grades 8-11 People think they know Mimi Dovewick, social media star and daughter of former actress Tiffany Dovewick, both of them blonde, beautiful, and happy. What they don't see is the truth underneath Mimi's carefully curated online life. In fact, she and her mom aren't close, and Mimi feels lost, confused, and alone. But for generations, the Dovewick women have had a tradition of writing journals when they turn 16, and now it's Mimi's turn. As she learns for the first time about her mother's accusation of abuse against a former director, Mimi turns to the journals to find answers about herself, her mom, and her family's history, and she begins uncovering family secrets: generations of sexism and tense mother-daughter relationships, as well as many strong, determined women. Haydu's novel in verse is raw and unflinching, asking readers to consider what connects us to our pasts, whether or not our paths are already determined, and who controls the narrative. Powerful, absorbing, and beautiful, this feminist novel begs to be read and talked about.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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