Sephora Golding Lives In The Shadow Of Her Unbelievably Beautiful Mother Even Though They Scrape By In The Seedier Part Of Venice Beach, She S Always Felt Lucky As A Child, She Imagined She Was A Minor But Beloved Character In Her Mother S Fairy Tale But Now, At Sixteen, The Fairy Tale Is Less Disney And Grimm And She Wants The Story To Be Her Own Then She Meets Felix, And The Fairy Tale Takes A Turn She Never Imagined Sometimes, A Story Is Just A Way To Hide The Unspeakable In Plain Sight A myth is not in the telling but in the endless retelling. Infandous something that s too terrible to be spoken aloud I really dig I remember reading a blog years ago about a girl who slept with her father at first, by accident she didn t know he was her ddd the first time , but later on they slept together AGAIN And the girl enjpyed it.My face was twisted into this expression of intense disgust the whole time I remember the blogger writing don t judge me at some point but all I could think when I saw that was, um, yeah, I m judging the hell out both of you and your creepy father and the wack incest relationship you have, ya freak This book reminded me of that awful blog I ve been trying to forget ever since I read it I mean, wtf did I just read Yep, that s the first thought I had when I read THAT PART The bit where she slept with her dad Gross I don t have any other words for this book right now. Infandous Too odious to be expressed or mentioned.There are those books that grab you by the throat and don t let go Infandous is one such book This is a short review of a short novel that is perfectly concise in its telling, beautiful in its writing, featuring a narrator with a strong voice and a story that is moving, discomfiting and ultimately healing.Following young narrator Sephora Golding, we follow her through the summer before senior year The story, taut and precise, follows the tentative steps of a young girl in the journey to womanhood from her relationship with a beloved mother, their fraught livelihood in a one bedroom apartment, Seph s creative pursuits and friendships, to her sexual awakening and experimentations moving toward a sense of self determination The latter I feel, is very important here and is expertly dealt by the author in the way that Sephora, in spite of things outside her control and the complicated choices she makes, is shown with sympathy, care and undeniable agency.Seph s world is populated with hardships and poverty, casual sexism and misogyny Interspersed throughout are Seph s musings on fairytales and mythology from Sleeping Beauty to Demeter and Persephone, Procne and Philomela All stories centred on young women and agency.A myth is not in the telling but in the endless retellingFrom the opening pages, we know something is not quite well with Sephora There is a feeling that runs through her musings as a narrator, that hint at trauma and unease which she is trying her hardest to work through.Thus, one of the best and most affecting aspects of Infandous is exactly this in the telling of the stories, in the creating of her art, lies the cathartic process of working through something infandous as a storyteller and artist in an attempt to come out on the other side To be able to breathe.Infandous is a superb contemporary YA novel It reminded me a lot of the way that Stephanie Kuehn builds her stories like in Charm and Strange It is also in the tradition of other recent feminist works by Courtney Summers, Rhiannon Thomas, Sarah McCarry and Laura Ruby.
ELANA K ARNOLD writes books for and about children and teens She holds a master s degree in Creative Writing Fiction from the University of California, Davis where she has taught Creative Writing and Adolescent Literature Her most recent YA novel, DAMSEL, is a Printz Honor book, Her 2017 novel, WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and her middle grade novel, A BOY
- Elana K. Arnold
- 27 August 2018 Elana K. Arnold