After reading Lauren Barnholt's One Night that Changes Everything with its shrugged-off cyberbullying, I've been thinking a lot about depictions of social networking technology in YA lit. My favorite iterations are those where the author creates their own nuanced social networks. Over the weekend, I read Blue Plate Special by Michelle D. Kwasney, and was terribly bothered by the cycle of these women's frailty at the hands of men as perpetuated by the cell phone with tracking capabilities that Ariel's boyfriend urges her to take. She eventually discards the device, but it was such a negative and menacing symbol, I'm definitely going to track some of these appearance of social networks and mobile technologies and see how they track with larger trends. Somewhat ironically, my next read was Stephen Davies' fun parkour-and-cryptography lark Hacking Timbuktu, which presents facebook as the terrorism-abetting group-dynamic-riddled communication mechanism that could well be.
Speaking of social networks, there's nothing like the social experience of reading. When I opened up my browser, I was thrilled to see book bloggers discussing three of my favorite recent reads. Angie Manfredi takes on teen Kody Keplinger's debut, The DUFF, at her blog Fat Girl, Reading. At GuysLitWire, bookchic focuses on Martin Wilson's debut What They Always Tell Us. And at Becky's Book Reviews, Becky reviews the lyrical historical Leaving Gee's Bend by another first-time Alabama author, Irene Latham.