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The Year I Stopped Trying: A Novel



by
Katie Heaney

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Penguin Random House
Imprint
Knopf
ISBN
9780593118283
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Strong Language , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use , Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes
$20.22   $16.85
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QTY

JLG Category

Young Adults Plus

Booksmart meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower in this novel of overachieving, existential crises, growing up, and coming out, from the author of Girl Crushed and Never Have I Ever.

Mary is having an existential crisis. She’s a good student, she never gets in trouble, and she is searching for the meaning of life. She always thought she’d find it in a perfect score on the SATs. But by junior year, Mary isn’t so sure anymore.

The first time, it’s an accident. She forgets to do a history assignment. She even crosses “history essay” off in her pristine planner. And then: Nothing happens. She doesn’t burst into flames, the world doesn’t end, the teacher doesn’t even pull her aside after class.

So she asks herself: Why am I trying so hard? What if I stop?

With her signature wit and heaps of dark humor, Katie Heaney delivers a stunning YA novel the sprints full-force into the big questions our teen years beg—and adeptly unravels their web.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Strong Language , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use , Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

256

Trim Size

8 3/10" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

0: points 0

Lexile

820L

Genre

Fic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Feb 2022

Book Genres

Realistic Fiction

Topics

Romance. LGBTQ. High schools. Dating (social customs). Coming of age. 

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-No one notices 16-year-old Mary Davies; even the name of her best friend, Cara Shah, she believes is glamorous where hers is plain. An excellent student, Mary is used to meeting the expectations of others, but she's never put "what I want" on her to-do list. Then one day her history homework goes missing, confusing Mary at first but also allowing her to ask: What if I gave myself permission to just let go? Her grades drop to C's-she's nowhere near flunking out-and she tries her first cigarette, which make her feel as if she can "do anything." She asks out Mitch, whose hair is pink and who's absent a lot. She learns that he hides in the library stacks so he can draw, and studies something he loves-woodworking-outside of school. He has more of a plan than she does. Mary splits her time between Mitch and a part-time job as a barista, joking around with Elyse, a new employee whose sly sense of humor and interest in Mary sparks a friendship, and maybe more. As Mary realizes she and Mitch are just friends, it becomes more clear that she's attracted to Elyse, who's gay. Mary and the other teens are white, while Elyse is Korean. VERDICT Focusing on the subtle metamorphosis of one funny, high-achieving teen who decides she'd rather know herself than please others, this book embraces coming of age and coming out with humor, candor, and grace. A must for all collections.-Georgia Christgau, LaGuardia Community Coll., Long Island City, NY

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-No one notices 16-year-old Mary Davies; even the name of her best friend, Cara Shah, she believes is glamorous where hers is plain. An excellent student, Mary is used to meeting the expectations of others, but she's never put "what I want" on her to-do list. Then one day her history homework goes missing, confusing Mary at first but also allowing her to ask: What if I gave myself permission to just let go? Her grades drop to C's-she's nowhere near flunking out-and she tries her first cigarette, which make her feel as if she can "do anything." She asks out Mitch, whose hair is pink and who's absent a lot. She learns that he hides in the library stacks so he can draw, and studies something he loves-woodworking-outside of school. He has more of a plan than she does. Mary splits her time between Mitch and a part-time job as a barista, joking around with Elyse, a new employee whose sly sense of humor and interest in Mary sparks a friendship, and maybe more. As Mary realizes she and Mitch are just friends, it becomes more clear that she's attracted to Elyse, who's gay. Mary and the other teens are white, while Elyse is Korean. VERDICT Focusing on the subtle metamorphosis of one funny, high-achieving teen who decides she'd rather know herself than please others, this book embraces coming of age and coming out with humor, candor, and grace. A must for all collections.-Georgia Christgau, LaGuardia Community Coll., Long Island City, NY

Grades 9 & Up
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Interests
Diversity,Fiction,Mature Readers,LGBTQ+,Novels,Funny/Humorous,Realistic Fiction
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