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Mandafofanda Reads Lots

The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no?

And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?
Doesn't that make life a story?

- Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Golden - Jessi Kirby I love the brazen girls of YA. They're beautiful in their loudness, their fearlessness, their charisma, their overt confidence. Yet I read their stories with a bit of awe and wistfulness, because while I admire so much about them, they're not who I am.

Parker Frost is me. I've actually never read about a fictional character that was quite so me. It's not any of the obvious things, like her family situation, her small-town-ness, her appearance or nationality. It's her personality, her thoughts, the way she views the world. It's her not being quiet but just the quieter one. It's her pressure from her parents, her pressure on herself, how she deals with boys and crushes, her sense of morality, her tendency to be introspective, her love of the arts, and ultimately, her disinclination for brazenness.

So when I read books with a protagonist like this, there's a deeper sort of connection I can feel with her. It's like her mistakes are my mistakes, but her journey and development and triumphs are also mine to share and celebrate.

So thank you, Jessi, for writing her story.