Reviewing a friend's book is triply difficult: you don't want to offend, you want to get the word out, and you are nervous about your review being written adequately. That being said, I'm going to go for it.
Because in this case, it's really easy. I loved this YA novel, hands-down. It comes out on August 9, and I urge each and every one of you to buy it. Why, you say? First, a bit about present-day YA as I see it...
I'll admit to having read only a handful of current YA, all of them chosen by pals who thought I would like the new voice of young adult fiction. Why, oh why, could we not have had voices like this when I was still reading Judy Blume books? OK, Blume wrote in the 70s, what feels like one of the more emotionally-closed-off decades to grow up in. Perhaps that's why these books pop out at me so much.
In the case of Donut Days, the setting, issues, concept and plot all seem so fresh and new, and yet so grounded in today's world. Besides being a structure that works handsomely in this genre, Lara has chosen a setting that could have been impossible to deliver to any generation: the evangelist culture and how faith and its trappings can wreak havoc on the young. But... not in a manner that completely disses this culture, another impossible to have pulled off.
So, please, once you've read it, comment on this blog. I'd love to hear what you thought.