Books · Reading Diary

Reading Diary: Birthday (Meredith Russo)

FRIDAY, 28 June 2019

15.20 – I had not planned on reading this book this month, but I finished my last book earlier today and there are a few days left until the end of the month. Since June IS Pride Month and I really have not read anything  diverse this month at all, I felt it was the perfect opportunity to do so now. I have decided to read Birthday by Meredith Russo, as I recently received my copy in the mail and I simply want to read it now! And why not document my journey with it? I have the Usborne UK edition of this book and can I just say how much I love the cover. Simple and effective with the rainbow candle and the coloured edges. Just lovely!

aa - Birthday

16.25 – Page 40  I liked this quite a bit. It is interesting to delve into the heads of two friends, who are not necessarily communicating about how they are feeling. Of course, they are still only 13…

17.11 – page 90  I love this book – I can’t put it down! I love both Eric’s and Morgan’s perspectives and I think the author did well to bring them both to life. The idea of only showing their lives and relationship on one day out of each year (ie their birthday) is a effing brilliant one.

I have to take a break in a minute and cook my daughter some dinner I think I may take it easy on myself and cook us some omelets! 🙂

18.33 – page 119 Just finished the fourteenth birthday part. I am so sucked in, but… There are a couple of things that bug me. One, they do not act like  just-turned-14-year-olds, rather like just-turned-16-year-olds in my humble opinion. That bothers me somewhat. Two, there was a small continuity error involving Eric’s glasses wearing. If he can’t see a girl’s face when she is trying on his glasses very close to him, how does he manage to see Morgan walking past? But… the feels… the emotional struggles of both of them as they try and understand each other and themselves… I am still loving this novel!

20.58 – page 130 I am speeding through this by my standards. I kind of know what will happen , but it is interesting to see their respective journeys to get there. These kind of stories are so important for teens out there who are trying to figure themselves out. Even twenty years ago, these kind of novels were rare and it can really help for someone to recognise themselves in literature, to know they are not alone in feeling this way.

When I was a teen, I was in no way transgender and I don’t think I was really genderqueer, but I was definitely more into men’s fashion, wearing football (soccer) shirts and the like. I loved football (soccer) and I was very much into music. I did not really identify with a lot of my gender peers or female celebrities and I guess I was very much a tomboy. For a long time I was not interested in kissing anyone, boy or girl. All this talk about this boy and that boy just seemed alien to me.  It just was not really on my mind, like it seemed to be on everyone else’s and I remember wondering whether that was weird. To be honest, all this kissing business seemed pretty disgusting to me until I was about 17 or 18. In my case, it was just a case of maturing a bit later than everyone else. However, if those feelings had remained, I think I would have felt pretty abnormal in the 1990s, whereas these days it is a little bit easier to find kindred spirits. The world is much more open with regard to gender and sexuality. It is by no stretch perfect and much still has to change, but compare it to twenty years ago and we are making big strides forward. At least we do where we live. The same can’t be said for other geographical locations unfortunately.

Anyway, stream of consciousness over. I will watch some TV before going back to the book. If I can get halfway (page 150 or so), I would be very happy!

22.58page 144 I am off to bed after watching the France v USA match in the Women’s World Cup. I should easily get to the halfway point. I am pretty impressed with myself! I usually read around 100 pages a day if I am lucky. Today I have read at least 300! I can’t remember the last time I did. I guess finishing reading my first Sarah Dessen book and starting another contemporary YA book helps. I find of all genres YA contemporary does tend to read away pretty easily. I did read 10% of Best Foot Forward by Adam Hills as well.

aa - Birthday1SATURDAY, 29 June 2019

08.01 – page 171 So, yesterday was my best reading day of the year so far! I read 337 pages in total, which is a stupendous amount for me. About triple of a normal good reading day. I stopped reading before the boys’ sixteenth birthday, because a girl needs her sleep as well!

Anyway, that is where I am starting off today, after grocery shopping etc. Happy Saturday!

11.41 – page 225 About to start their 17th birthday. I am curious what happened in the intervening year. One thing, there is quite a bit of American Football in this book! I know nothing about that sport – apart like that it’s a bit like rugby, but dressed up. Morgan and Eric’s story arcs are really excellent and I can’t wait to read on. I am pretty confident I will manage to finish this today. Especially as it’s a hot day out there and there is not much else to do but read.

14.18 page 300 Well, I have come to the end of the six-year-journey that spans this book. I really enjoyed this read. However, whereas in the first four years I felt the one day a year worked really well, I am not sure it was quite enough in the final two years. The story did fizzle out a little, but I can still wholeheartedly say I loved it. The concept is really good and this book makes me smile a ton now I have come to the end if it and I cannot imagine how important this novel is going to be to some youngster out there.

Let me go and write my review now. Thanks for the journey!


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