A Night of Adventure and Romance: Graffiti Moon

Book Review: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Graffiti Moon, by Australian author Cath Crowley, is a young adult novel that is set in Australia about six teens in search of two graffiti artists, Shadow and Poet. Lucy believes she could really fall in love with Shadow, which is why she desperately wants to find him. Lucy is forced to hang out with Ed, though, because she believes he knows how to find Shadow. Though this book only takes place over a twenty four hour period, Crowley keeps the action moving and the reader interested the entire novel.

Almost immediately we find out that Ed is really Shadow, but Lucy doesn’t know this until much later. Ed and Lucy went on one date two years ago that ended abruptly when she broke his nose for grabbing her butt. The reader gets to see Lucy interact with a man she isn’t keen on, while the reader knows that Ed is the man she is looking for (Shadow). Reading Lucy’s storyline while knowing Ed is really Shadow is what keeps the reader reading.

Throughout the book, Crowley intersperses small details about each of the character’s pasts and families, their future plans, and what they think about each other. The book goes between Ed and Lucy’s point of view, which gives us the point of view of the other two girls (Daisy and Jazz) and guys (Dylan and Leo/Poet) respectively. Crowley also includes random poems written by Leo (Poet) that move the story forward. Graffiti Moon gives a little bit of everything for the young adult reader: romance, humor, character growth, male and female perspectives, and adventure. Everyone loves a good late-night adventure, and Crowley gives the reader just that: a great late-night adventure these characters will be talking about for years to come.

Graffiti Moon gives the reader an inside look at a teenager’s life in Australia. The colloquialisms are there, and the way Crowley writes makes it so American (or other country) readers aren’t confused by words we may not hear or understand in the context. Words such as sheddy, wanker, arse, etc. Crowley introduces us to Australian lingo in a fun way that helps us learn about these six teens and life in Australia.

Crowley does a great job of showing the reader what it’s like to be looking for something that’s completely different than what we expected. Throughout Graffiti Moon, Lucy is looking for Shadow, though Shadow is with her almost the entire novel. Lucy will think things like, “A guy like Shadow would stand out” (Crowley 64), or that if she meets him, she will immediately know it’s Shadow. But Shadow is in front of her the whole time and she’s annoyed at him! The hilariousness of the whole scenario is worth the read. Seeing Lucy say things like “I would sleep with Shadow” to Ed makes the reader imagine what will happen when Lucy does find out she’s been hanging out with Shadow the entire night.

Graffiti Moon is about adventure, but Graffiti Moon is also about the six teenagers learning about themselves and what they find important. In the beginning of the novel, we see Ed as a boy who dropped out of school and doesn’t have any real plans. He is ashamed of himself, to the point where he ended his first relationship because he was afraid she would end it first. Crowley intertwines Ed’s character growth through the night as all the teens have to choose what is important to them or not, especially when things get mixed up and a little scary.

Graffiti Moon is for the artist in all of us. Crowley’s words are written beautifully, and so are the poems included that show Leo’s point of view. Ed and Leo are graffiti artists, Jazz is an actor, and Lucy likes to draw and is learning how to be a glass blower. Graffiti Moon teaches us about various forms of art, and the way Crowley describes the pieces of art help the reader to imagine it in their minds, especially if the reader loves graffiti like I do.

Overall, I would recommend reading Graffiti Moon. The themes are woven together to create a magical night that the reader feels like they lived with the six main characters. It’s that “one last night” before real life starts that we all want deep down, and Crowley captures every moment in an exciting and funny way. This book would be best for young adults who are learning about themselves and what they see is important. Graffiti Moon stresses the importances of choosing what’s important to us as an individual rather than expecting something from ourselves that we think other people want. For example, Ed thinks that his ex wanted a guy with plans for a future job and college, and he didn’t think he could be that so he ended it. In the end he realizes this was an expectation he placed on her without ever asking what she wanted. He just assumed. Graffiti Moon will help teens sift through their expectations on themselves and what they really want to do in life.

Graffiti Moon was published in Australia by Pan Macmillan in 2010. Random House published a slightly different version in 2012 in America. Cath Crowley is from Victoria, Australia and has written many other young adult novels.

WORKS CITED

Crowley, Cath. Graffiti Moon. Melbourne, Pan Macmillan, 2010.

Book Review: Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood

Six Impossible Things by Australian author, Fiona Wood, is a young adult novel that takes us through the complicated life of fifteen year old Dan Cereill.

Dan is figuring out how to get through these awkward teenage years that everyone has to go through in their life. The only issue that is not helping Dan’s case is that his parents are getting a divorce from the recent coming out news of his father. His father is gay, left him and Dan’s mother nothing but scrap, they are barely getting by, and then there is Dan’s dream girl, Estelle, who does not know he exists. Everything came so quick upon Dan and his mother. He is a fourteen, going on fifteen, awkward, nerdy boy who now needs to step up and take upon the role of the manly figure to help his mom through her separation and keeping their heads above water. This is Dan’s new life and with this, he writes himself a list of six things to keep himself in line and to live his best life. 1: Kiss Estelle. 2: Get a job. 3: Cheer his mom up. 4: Not be a nerd. 5: Try to talk to his father. 6: Become a better version of himself.

Dan’s mother had a great aunt Adelaide that has recently passed, and lucky for them, Adelaide has left his mother her house in the will. This should have been their shining light. They would not have to live out on the streets, but for Dan’s mother, this was only the start of the longing stress they will go through while dealing with being broke. For Dan, this move brought him Estelle. Estelle is the girl next door who he falls hard for. All Estelle is aware of is that she has brand new neighbors. That is the extent of Dan and Estelle, thus far in the novel. Dan had to leave his old life and school behind. His only friend Fred, has been living with his mother in London for a couple of months before he goes back to live with his dad and step mother, closer to Dan. Dan forced to start a new school, he is not faced exactly with the warmest welcome. For the first couple months of starting this new school, Dan is bullied by a kid named Jayzo. Dan spots Estelle everywhere he goes yet they still have not came in physical contact with each other.

Along with the house that was left for Dan and his mother, came with Adelaide’s dog Howard. Dan quickly becomes attached to Howard. Howard can sometimes be a good distraction to Dan, to take his mind off of the fact that him and his mother are struggling. His mom is trying her best to keep their family afloat. She has begun to start a business of making wedding cakes. Very ironic. Her new business has a slow start, middle and a slow finish but she is trying her best. Dan and his mother both are put under a lot of stress and they take it out on each other. Though everything has been so tough on Dan, he realizes that he needs to step up and help out more. He first starts by looking for a job.

After having his first awkward interaction with Estelle, he knows that she is someone who he cannot let go of. Estelle’s attic of her house and Dan’s attic share a wall, Dan takes this to do some exploring. Creepy? He gets to know everything about her by rummaging through her personal belongings and her diary. Dan gets a job at a local bakery shop, while his mothers wedding cake business is not exactly beaming. The two of them eventually met a young man Oliver, who will begin to become a close friend who helps Dan on the physical look aspect. Oliver gives Dan his old clothes and teaches him how to shave. All of this is happening and Dan still refuses to talk to his father, who had been religiously calling hoping to speak to his son. On Dan’s third entering of Estelle’s attic, he is not as sneaky as he thought and she catches him. Through all of this, Dan has been able to form a relationship with Estelle and her friend Janie. The bullying at his school has calmed down a tad. He has made a friend, Lou, who then begins a relationship with Dan’s best friend Fred. Getting through high school is tough, but not as tough as kissing a girl, at least to Dan.

With his mothers business keeping them afloat and picking up another job, Dan working to save up money, becoming closer to Estelle, becoming less nerdy at his school, and trying to accept his father for being gay, Dan’s life has done an one-hundred-eighty degree turn. His mother seems happier and eventually begins to casual date Dan’s boss. He has waited until the school dance to finally kiss Estelle. After this magical kiss and moment between them, Dan tells her that he has read her diaries. This causes a brief moment of angry, but the next morning, after Oliver has saved the school Dance from Dan’s screw up, Dan and Estelle realize that their feelings are mutual and everything seems to be falling into place for Dan and his mother. He actually starts to miss his father. We look back on Dan’s list that he wrote throughout the novel, and you could have guessed that by the end of this book, his six impossible things are not so impossible anymore.

 

Wood, Fiona Anna. Six Impossible Things . Poppy, 2010.

USBBY Outstanding International Book List Review and Personal Selections

Beginning in 2006 the USBBY Outstanding International Book (OIB) annually selects an honor list of international books for youth.  For the purpose of this list the term “international book” is used to describe books that are published or distributed in the United States that originated or was first published in another country. For the purpose of this blog posting I will only be looking at books that are indicated for the grades 9-12. From their website the books that they listed these as their 2018 honorees:

 

Crowley, Cath. Words in Deep Blue. Alfred A. Knopf. (Australia)
Hardinge, Frances. A Skinful of Shadows. Amulet Books. (UK)
Kwaymullina, Ambelin. The Foretelling of Georgie Spider.
Candlewick Press. (Australia)
Mayhew, Julie. The Big Lie. Candlewick Press. (UK)
Smith, Heather. The Agony of Bun O’Keefe.
Penguin Teen Canada. (Canada)

 

While I have only read reviews of these novels, I believe this list could add a few books from outside of the western world. One suggestion that I believe they could add to this list would be The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline, which is a post-apocalyptic tale of North American Indigenous people being “recruited” by government school to have their dreams stripped from the marrow in their bones and given to their white counterparts. This novel was introduced in 2017, and has left a profound impact and open many dialogues about Canadian Aboriginals present day struggles, while also forewarning us of the future if we continue to overuse the Earth’s limited resources. This novel is from Canada like another one on this list, but it gives a minority perspective which I believe is one thing that this list is missing out on. Another book would be A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman, which gives the story of a young Indian girl struggle to reunite her passion in her culture and herself through the ancient bharatanatyam dance form. Even though this book was published about 15 years ago, it has one award recently in 2017, and has become introduced in more classrooms within the western world. Overall, having international books that also reflect many different cultures around the world is important to youth development, which is why we need to continue to bring them inside US classrooms.

Works Cited

Dimaline, Cherie. The Marrow Thieves. Dancing Cat Books (DCB)/ Cormorant, 2017.

“USBBY Outstanding International Books (OIB) List.” USBBY.org – Outstanding International Books (OIB), 2018, www.usbby.org/oibl.html.

Venkatraman, Padma. A Time Dance. Penguin Putnam Inc, 2003.

Four Historical Fiction Novels for Minority Adolescents

As being that historical fiction is one of my favorite genres I have compiled some insightful and thought provoking novels for young adults to read. Historical fiction lets us look at the past, and use it learn and not repeat it in the future which is why it is important to expose our future citizens to novels that express this.

  1. The Rock and the River  by Kekla Magoon

Magoon takes us to 1968 Chicago, where  thirteen-year-old Sam is the son of a known civil rights activist Roland Childs. After sneaking under his older brother, Stick’s, bed he find literature about the Black Panthers. Coupled with the fact that Dr. King was recently murdered, Sam’s trust in his father’s words of change begins to waver. This coming-to-age story gracefully takes us through the struggles between the black power and civil rights movement in a way that can hit directly home.

  1. Over a Thousand Hills I Walk with You by Hanna Jansen,  Elizabeth D. Crawford (Translator)

This novel gives us the story of Jeanne, once a normal school girl who regularly playfully teased her young brother, is not  fleeing their home with her family during the Rwandan civil war, Being that is is Tutsis she remain hopeful as the Hutu soldiers and the political climate of the time threatens the life she’s only known. While this book can be painful to read it gives insight into adolescents who lives are torn by war, and teaches compassion for the modern day teenager.

  1. Out of Darkness by Ashley Perez

This novel details the 1930s coming-to-age story of Mexican-American teen, Naomi, and how she must navigate moving to New London, Texas with her younger twin siblings Beto and Cara, to live with her stepfather. As the story unfolds we gain insight into the racism that was faced by both Naomi and her teenage lover, Wash, with it all coming to an end after the 1937 New London School explosion. This novel gives a minority experience that can easily be applied and find solidarity with modern day teens.

  1. Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal by Margarita Engle

Engle gives the story of 14-year old Mateo, a Cuban, who is lured by the promises of wealth that comes from the building of the Panama Canal takes place. Once in Panama he discovers the recruiter’s lies and the long days of intense labor dashes away his adventurous dreams. Yet he is able to find solace through his relationships with Antia, Augusto, and Henry, and find his new home. The inclusion of non human voices in this poetic masterpiece shows the environmental impact that capitalism has. Modern-day Minority adolescents will not only be able to find a mirror from themselves in the past, but also able to explore relevant environmental issues we see today

Works Cited

Engle, Margarita. Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal. HMH Books for Young Readers, 2016.

Jansen, Hanna. Over a Thousand Hills I Walk with You. Translated by Elizabeth D. Crawford, Andersen Press, 2012.

Pérez, Ashley Hope. Out of Darkness. Carolrhoda Lab™, 2015.
Magoon, Kekla. The Rock and the River . Aladdin, 2010.

Book Review: When Dogs Cry or Getting the Girl by Mark Zusak

Markus Zusak’s book was originally published in Australia under the title When Dogs Cry, but this version of the text was in German, so I opted to read the English version which was released under the title Getting the Girl. Both of the titles are titles of poems from the book.

In this story we meet Cameron Wolfe, the main character, who tells the story about himself and his brother, Ruben Wolfe. The story picks up when Cameron falls for Octavia, Rubens most recent ex-girlfriend. As the story unfolds it makes sense that Cameron would fall for a girl his brother has already dated because he often finds himself in his brother’s shadow; what he didn’t expect was for Octavia to like him back. Cameron thinks of himself as a typical loner. He has no friends except his family and has few hobbies, he usually just wanders the streets for fun; often finding himself outside Stephanie’s house, another girl who dated his brother and once called him a loser. Cameron struggles for a large part of the book with deciding how to tell his brother that he’s dating his ex-girl. He also acknowledges that after so long of his only outlet being through the poems he calls “his words” having a girl to talk to and open up to about himself presented harder than imagined.

When Ruben finally finds out about Cameron and Octavia, because she called the house to confirm plans and he answered the phone, he tried to be okay with it at first, but Ruben reacts the only way he knows how, through his fists. That night when Octavia came to the house to meet Cameron, she noticed the bruises on his face and realized that their relationship had caused conflict between the brothers and she leaves, not wanting to be the source of pain. Now Cameron doesn’t have his brother or the girl. It’s not until Ruben finds himself in a situation with his current girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend, that Cameron gets a chance to be his brother’s hero. He waits up for him and after he doesn’t return from a fight he goes out looking for him and finds him beaten half to death and carries him all the way home.

Zusak tells a great story about familial conflict that can occur when siblings feel overshadowed by one another. His portrayal of Cameron is spot on as the shy loner, improbable of saving the day. He has not only two brothers that are all around “better” than him, but even a sister who works hard in school. The relationship between Cameron and Ruben is honest and easy to connect with because Rubens reaction is likely the way a brother would react if this happened to him. This story would be excellent for young adult readers. True conflict and real-life resolutions are more helpful to this age group than stories with little to no conflict or ones were the adults swoop in and fix everything. I really enjoyed this book and would be interested in reading the others in the series to see the relationship between the brothers in other parts of their lives.

 

Zusak, Markus. Getting the Girl. RHCP Digital, 2013.

Blog 2: Vietnamese Authors Struggling to Write Children’s Lit

For my second blog post, I want to discuss the importance that children’s literacy leaves on the lives of children. It is vital that we give the growing minds of children the opportunity to read literature and learn upon this. I will be referencing an article post published by Dantri International News titled, “Books For Children, Still A Challenge For Vietnamese Authors”, posted on August 6, 2010.

Literature gives children and students the appreciation to learn about their own culture, their ancestors, and history. Reading literature guides students through their success in life and helps them through their cognitive thinking and abilities. We already know all of this; we know how important it is for children to have access to literature. We might not have thought a lot about this because in the United States, it is so simple for children to have access to children’s literature. In other countries, this is not as simple. Vietnamese children and students are lacking the same reading qualities that kids in other countries have the access to. There is not a wide range of literate for children in Vietnam because authors are not able to write novels for them. This is not because they physically cannot write and publish books, it is because Vietnamese authors have little understanding of this new generation of children. The authors have an easier time writing for the older audiences in Vietnam, because they can relate to them and their generation better. So, because of this, children’s literature is being brushed under the rug and not being put on a high pedi stool solely because authors do not know how to write for children. “In addition, authors who spent their childhoods in wartime and the harsh periods after liberation have little understanding of this generation of children and what type of reading they enjoy” (http://dtinews.vn/en/news/023001/4020/books-for-children-still-a-challenge-for-vietnamese-authors.html, 2010). Though I understand that these authors grew up in a time that is completely different from now, I believe this is no excuse to disregard writing children’s literacy. One author stated that because online gaming is so big right now, he does not know enough about it to be able to write a novel for children’s liking. I think that their government needs to take better action for children’s literacy because they are our future. Reading literature should be incorporated into their daily lives, no excuse. Literature nourishes the developments of children’s social skills and shapes them into their personalities. I cannot stress enough how important this is.

Works Cited:

Giỏi, Hoàng Mạnh. “Books for Children Still a Challenge for Vietnamese Authors.” Vietnam’s Literacy Rate Reaches 97.3 Percent | DTiNews – Dan Tri International, the News Gateway of Vietnam, 6 Aug. 2010, dtinews.vn/en/news/023001/4020/books-for-children-still-a-challenge-for-vietnamese-authors.html.

YA Literature Taboo in the Arab World

In the Arab community, YA writers toe the line between taboo and giving the readers what they want. The Young Adult category is a new one among Arab literature its popularity varies by country.  In Emirates, reading of YA has skyrocketed but other areas aren’t so predictable.

In the article “YA Fiction Treads Carefully in the Arab World”, author Taghreed Najjar claims, “it’s easier to sell books for younger children under the guise of educating them or strengthening their moral fibre.  People who bought these kind of books were parents and teacher.  But YA has to appeal to young adults to sell well, hence the dilemma” (Qualey).

Young adult readers seem to want writers to delve deeper into characters, relationships, and struggles but others still complain.  This poses a real challenge to YA writers.  “There are too many taboos on what to write about and how to write it,” adds Najjar (Qualey).  Writers are being pressured to clean up their story lines, omit details, and avoid topics but are being punished by lack of readership.  Lebanese author Fatima Sharafeddine admits that she changed about a fifth of her book when she re-wrote it to publish in English, being overly cautious in her first draft of a politically-aware narrative.

YA writers in the Arab community are at a crossroads, fearing that “deference to taboos may be holding their books back” (Qualey).  Maybe authors should care less about criticisms and focus on the message they are trying to portray in their works.  If they do so, they might just see an increase in book sales as consequence.

 

Qualey, Marcia Lynx. “YA Fiction Treads Carefully in the Arab World”. The Guardian, November 2014.  https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/nov/21/ya-fiction-arab-world-young-adu.

Introducing International Young Adult Fiction Lesson Plan

Objective: Students will use the knowledge of the environment they grew up in and context from the story to compare and contrast the culture and norms of the characters in a story written by an international author.

 

Instruction:

Based on teacher selection, the instructor will choose a young adult story that was written in another country, by a non-English speaking author.

 

The teacher will read the book aloud to students as a whole class. Students will each have their own copy of the book and will follow along as necessary.

 

Think, Pair, Share Activity:

Think: Students will work independently to compile a list of similarities and differences of their lives to the lives of the characters in the story. Students should be encouraged to make broad comparisons and specific ones as well, as to enable serious consideration for the other culture’s norms. This list can be a collection of thoughts as the story is read over time.

 

Pair: Students will gather into small groups to compare their lists of similarities and differences between their lives and those of the characters in the story. Pairing students into small groups will encourage them to share specific details, as sometimes the whole class setting can be intimidating. Once they have spent time discussing, have the groups of students share their list of characteristics of the culture of the setting the book takes place in.

 

Share: Groups will then share with the class the list they compiled. As groups share, the teacher will take note of the most surprising components of the different culture which students noticed.

 

Group Assignment Out-of-Class:

Based on the list of characteristics of the culture of the story students were most surprised about, the teacher will assign each group a research assignment on that country in which the setting took place. Examples of research topics include, but are not limited to, religious affiliation in the country, age of youth (i.e. at what age is someone considered an adult?), and traditional foods.

 

Reflection Discussion:

Students will discuss what they learned from reading international literature and share what country or culture they would like to learn more about.

YA Literature Around the Globe

The YA literature category is exploding the United States and other English-speaking countries.  There hasn’t, however, been much exposure to YA works from other non-English-speaking areas in English-speaking countries.  This is largely due to the fact that very little of these works are translated into English.  In the articles “Around the Globe: An Introduction to International YA Writing”, “Around the Globe: International YA Writing”, and “Bringing International YA Literature into English: A Panel Discussion” all discuss the organization Words Without Borders and what they have done to bring works from around the world to English-language readers.

Words Without Borders is a nonprofit organization that strives to promote cultural understanding and awareness by publishing a previously untranslated work in English each month in their online magazine.  In December 2014, Words Without Borders published their first translated Young Adult works.  Everroad and Hahn explain, “if very few adult titles are translated into English, the number of YA titles making the journey is even smaller”.  That is why this first issue was so important.  With all of the popularity of YA literature among English-language readers, the December issue broke readership records (Gilmore).

The issue titled “Around the Globe:  International YA Writing” spotlighted nine works translated from nine different languages.  Each work, varying widely “geographically, thematically, generically, tonally” brings about a different story line with a unique struggle (Erroad and Hahn).  According to Erroad and Hahn, searching for these works brought about an interesting debate on the line between childhood and adulthood in different countries.  Many aren’t aware of the YA category like we are.  Their aim, Erroad and Hahn explained, “was to find voices that made us sit up and think, books that deserve a place on bookshelves alongside the very best Anglophone writers.”

The publishing of “Around the Globe:  International YA Writing” paved the way for more cultural understanding among English-language readers.  “The December issue helps to shine a light on multicultural diversity around the world,” and “[e]ven in nations with a strong YA presence, books are now more and more reflecting a multicultural world.”  Although Words Without Borders has not published another exclusively international YA issue, they have started the ball rolling and broadened the scope of YA in the English-language reading world.

 

“Around the Globe:  International YA Writing”. Words Without Borders, December 2014. https://www.wordswithoutborders.org/issue/december-2014.

Everroad, Briony and Daniel Hahn. “Around the Globe:  An Introduction to International YA Writing”. Words Without Borders, December 2014. https://www.wordswithoutborders.org/article/around-the-globe-an-introduction-to-international-ya-writing.

Gilmore, Natasha. “Bringing International YA Literature into English: A Panel Discussion”. Publishers Weekly, 16 December 2014. https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-industry-news/article/65077-bringing-international-ya-literature-into-english-a-panel-discussion.html.

Book Review: Real World by Natsuo Kirino

Real World by Natsuo Kirino gives the story of four teenage best friends, Toshi, Yuzan, Kirarin, and Terauchi, who are roped into a thrilling adventure, when Toshi’s next door neighbor, Worm, kills his mother. As most noir fiction novels, our protagonist Toshi the kind one, Yuzan the tough one, Kirarin the pretty one, and Terauchi the intellectual all possess self-destructive flaws leading to an eventual lose-lose situation for all. As we continue on it is like reading a secretive diary, from each of the girls and Worm’s chapters we are given a deeper look into their personal lives, thoughts, and feelings. This book starts an interesting conversation on the human nature, and what the adolescent mind thinks, but never truthfully says out loud.

As we begin reading the novel we are initially given Toshi, who refers to herself as Ninna Hori, a double identity she has given herself like the three girls in her friend group. This identity is the one she uses in order to separate herself from reality, which all the other adolescent characters express in different forms. For Yuzan and Kirarin this involves them having a different friend groups that they are able to show a side they do no feel comfortable showing in their core friend group. While Terauchi hides from her reality by dumbing herself down and acting ignorant to her surroundings. Last but not least, Worm, who escapes his reality of living with the “total idiot”, by killing her thus setting the wheels in motion for the intense, adventurous story. In all of their current realities the young teenagers must deal with studying for cram school, and being pushed to succeed by the absent-minded adults in their lives. In all of their chapters we further see how each one loathes the lives they a groomed to have.

As Terauchi describes it Worm took the easy way out by killing his mother stead of what she has done for many years the “irreparable.” The irreparable is described by her as by “changing something inside…exchanging it for something else, and acting like an idiot” (Kirino 151). Though this action her she is slowly killing herself inside, she believes this the much more complex way of dealing with a difficult relationship with her parents, more specifically her mother, the the simple solution of murder than Worm did. The complex, resentful relationship that the adolescents have with the adults in their lives continues to show up in the other chapters involving Toshi, Kirarin, Worm, and Yuzan. Whether it be the adults that harass them on their way to school like Toshi, Kirian, and Terauchi without having any support from their parents to it it. Other, the obliviousness they hold to the secret lives of Kirarin with meeting men to have sex with, Worm hatred for being a school outcast, or Yuzan’s sexual orientation, it does not seem to have any effect or understanding coming from the adults within their lives. They are oblivious outsider observers within this novel, constantly peering in from the peripheral, but this does not take away from the hold that they have over the adolescents, whom must submit to their every will, not matter how much they detest them. Which is why we when get to Worm killing his mother it is no surprise that Toshi, Kirarin, and Yuzan have so much willingness to help. Worm represents a living, breathing rebellion against a culture that requires so much for them. In many aspects all of the girls envy him, yet only Terauchi is the one to turn him and Kirarin in at the end. Her envy of the freedom from having to do the “irreparable” causes her go against her friend, ultimately ending the loss of both of their lives.

Even if they had the curiosity of the rebellious nature of Worm none of the girls expected their actions to go as far as it did. While it took them out of their reality it also brought them back it with them losing one another. Thus, this novel gives the readers a thrilling and modern day take on the butterfly effect as we reached the end. As we see each characters decision under the scrutiny of the other, once the tragic death of two of them are revealed. Each one had a part in the ultimate demise of their friend group, and the surviving two, Worm’s father, and their parents must all ponder the small changes they could have made to or shouldn’t have made that could have potentially changed their entire fates.

Kirino provokes the readers of any culture or age that places immense pressure on the next generation to consider if it is truly worth it.

Works Cited

Kirino, Natsuo. Real World. Translated by Philip Gabriel, Vintage International Books, 2008.
Weinstein, Iris. “Book Cover of Real World.” Goodreads, 15 July 2008,
www.goodreads.com/book/show/2119409.Real_World.