'89 Walls by Katie Pierson | Rating: ★★★☆☆
As a disclaimer, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. My review remains completely unaffected by receiving this novel. All opinions are real and of my own.
'89 Walls is a throwback to, well, the 1980s. And it's a good one, at that. There are so many novels out there that take place in decades that have past, but don't feel like it. This is not one of them -- there's a great mix of pop culture and political references in here that don't seem cheesy or out of place.
It is filled with romance, teen angst, and frank discussions/debates on politics, making it the perfect addition to a young adults to-read list. It doesn't treat its audience like they are children -- and perhaps it will help open their eyes on certain topics. Everything is told in an honest way and I loved that.
Although I didn't always connect with it, at times I bordered on 'meh' when it came down to it, it was still enjoyable. Cute, even. Both of our main characters, Seth and Quinn, are so real they practically bounce out of the pages and smack you in the face. The amount in which the two grow by stories end -- together and individually -- is something to applaud. Katie Pierson brings to life these two characters in a way that's realistic, entertaining and irritating (let's face it: most characters can be irritating and that's not a bad thing!) -- she does not slack on developing both.
In spite of the twos differing views on life and politics, and their difference in upbringings, they fit so well together. I couldn't imagine the two ending up with anyone else and loves seeing their relationship bloom. It's a definite case of when opposites attract and how sometimes, you can find a best friend or lover in unexpected places.
Katie Pierson doesn't shy away from exploring sexuality or "sensitive" topics (politics, abortion, suicide, diseases) and doesn't sugar coat it. Reading this story is similar to getting to know someone in the flesh. She lets the unexpected take hold and ties it all into the plot gracefully. And there's something very raw about her writing and it makes it a breeze to read.
And the way that she write families and their interactions is great. She is able to maintain a certain warmth to each family relationship as well as bring to light the flaws in each. It's all done in a very raw way that makes you feel for the characters -- whether that be when arguments arise or tragedy strikes, Katie does each perfectly. I envy her for that!
I'm, frankly, upset that there hasn't been more buzz on this novel because it provides us with a voice that is desperately needed. Don't let my 3 (I'd say it's more of a 3.5, nearing 4) star rating fool you -- it had its downs, but it was still a good read. It's an important read.
So important. Don't miss out on this unexpected gem.