How Beautiful the Ordinary

How Beautiful the Ordinary

Twelve Stories of Identity

Book - 2009
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Presents twelve stories by contemporary, award-winning young adult authors, some presented in graphic or letter format, which explore themes of gender identity, love, and sexuality.
Publisher: New York, NY : HarperTeen, 2009.
ISBN: 9780061155000
0061155004
9780061154980
0061154989
Characteristics: 350 p. :,ill. ;,19 cm.
Additional Contributors: Cart, Michael

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Pascale Nevins
Jul 24, 2015

Like kweirley bellow me, I'm torn. This is an amazing collection, and I'm glad for the diversity within it, but it's /limited/ diversity. I especially liked "My Virtual World" by Francesca Lia Block because I conneced so easily with the characters, and David Levithan's story because it felt so directed at me, very personally directed towards the reader in a good way.
However, some stories like (as kweirley said) "Happily Ever After" by Eric Shanower commited acciedental erasure of asexuality (the A, in LGBTQA+ for those who don't know). There was a lack of regard towards bi/pansexuality too, despite there being many opportunities to include the "B" from LGBTQA+.
So, this book, with its funny-but-often-strange stories is a good representation of the LGT part of the community. Some of the stories are very well written, others I didn't appreciate as much. I seem to be using kweirley a lot, but as they said, "it has problems", like any book. This is a good introduction to LGBTQA+ litterature but not an exemplary selection. In any case, it was worth the read (at least most of the stories-- don't feel bad if you'd like to skip some).

kweirley Apr 20, 2015

I am so very torn on this book, though I guess that is the nature of anthologies?

Some of the stories are wonderful (Daniel Levithin's in particular, which is the first story and set an unreasonable expectation for the rest of the book.) But the consistent bi erasure throughout the book is so obvious and extreme as to feel actually deliberate. So many of the stories have the arc of a character who was in some hetero relationships but ten suddenly sees the light when they fall for or get involved with someone of the same sex. I know this is a real experience for many gay and lesbian people, and I can't complain about any individual instance of it, but the weight of all of the stories just takes it a little too far.

Eric Shanower's "happily Ever After" is also pretty unforgivably acephobic/somehow guilty of ace erasure at the same time. It would be impressive if it wasn't so awful.

I am glad an anthology like this exists. I just, it has problems.

b
bookchick
Apr 04, 2011

cheers keiths girl.......that's hi;larious.........this book has one or two good and some very...twisted stories....lol

k
Keithsgirl2215
Jul 06, 2010

I was very diappointed in the book. I was expecting it to be stories that were interesting and heart warming but I found the stories very weird and I did not enjoy it at all.

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Pascale Nevins
Jul 24, 2015

Pascale Nevins thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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