GUEST WRITER SARA BAMFORD RECOMMENDS BLACKOUT
A New York City-wide blackout brings a stream of panic induced reminders that every moment and emotion counts reducing you to a state of impulsivity you have never felt before. Forcing people to stop and think smaller yet seeing the big picture at the same time. To quickly reevaluate what’s important and what’s not. Feeling alone and crowded in the same breath. Blackout, co-written by today’s executive YA authors Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon, takes its readers on an emotional tour of a blackout in the dead heat of a New York City evening while encapsulating the love trials of young people of colour.
One of my favourite movies to re-watch for comfort is 2011’s “New Year’s Eve” directed by Garry Marshall starring Zac Efron, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Sarah Jessica Parker to name a few. The characters are showcased in their own vignettes throughout the film, until the end when it is revealed how their separate stories have intertwined. Blackout follows this creative plot development format- creating 6 vignettes, each written by a different author, explaining 6 different love stories, with 6 different outcomes, while bringing them altogether in the end. This format did not disappoint- keeping the energized reader invested throughout.
What I enjoyed about this YA novel, as an adult reader, is how each author captured their characters’ emotions in such diverse relationships. Not just captured- but nailed it on head: the relationship that’s just starting out, or the relationship that is losing passion, or the relationship that you know is going to change you forever. No matter what your relationship history may be, you’ve experienced these feelings of safety, insecurity, confusion, anticipation, or relief. Overall, these authors have created inclusive love vignettes that will be mirrors for some and windows for others.
I am 100% recommending this novel to my students.
Sara Bamford is a high school English teacher who escapes her busy mom-life by digging into good books and journaling. Her passion is to find her students the novel that makes them want to read another novel to ignite the passion of getting lost in a good book.