Walking Teenagers… Again

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“But right now I can’t help thinking this universe is a mystery that wants to be solved; a mystery trapped inside each and every one of us.”

I’ve been thinking for a long time what to say about this novel. I have finished Beneath Wandering Stars months ago and I have so much to tell you guys about it but whenever I face  computer screen or paper, I am at loss of words. This wasn’t any other YA novel I have ever read and at the same time, this was everything a YA novel should be. Sure, this novel doesn’t have handsome fairies, vengeful queens, witches or wizards. It’s no fairytale retelling or dystopian fiction. It is about a girl and a boy walking a pilgrim, as simple as that. And yet, it extends even further into something complex and deep and wonderful at the same time. I also read a similar book long ago which features walking teenagers as well. No one dies horribly in this book, though.

Beneath Wandering Stars approaches spirituality and philosophy that I don’t get to see enough in recent YA fiction, not unless we’re talking about the angst-driven coming-of-age novel which main philosophy is to hate the world and all those living in it. Beneath Wandering Stars isn’t written with hate and despair, it’s written with longing. Continue reading

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Dear You,

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“You’re different. And I’m different too. Different is good. But different is hard. Believe me, I know.”

Among the stack of fairytale retellings, contemporary romance, and dystopian YA fiction, nothing fascinates me more than ever as the bittersweet coming-of-age novel. We’re talking about Catcher in the Rye where profanity is spoken with passion and angst is character. We’re talking about the alienated boy with issues, the misunderstood and ignored, the hopelessness of adulthood and the harsh reality that the world does not give a damn whether you slash your wrists or not. This sort of novel, perhaps, did not blow away our world or made it any better but it did something that you probably wanted to do for a long time– it cried, it wailed, it cursed the world and all of humanity– it’s like having a friend who could understand you.  Continue reading