May 13th, 2015 by Jan

When Everything Feels Like the Movies by Raziel Reid didn’t win Canada Reads, but came in second place, and I was curious. Elaine Lui, defended the book basically saying, something like. This book should win because this is the type of book that normally gets banned, and bullies should not win. So have some courage and choose this book.

I almost thought that was reason enough to vote for it, and even though I hadn’t read any of the final five books for Canada Reads; at the time, I think her argument might have captured my vote. Now, I’m not so sure, but I doubt I would have voted for the other two I’ve read either.

I’ve had my name on the hold lists at the library since the winners were announced and just a few days ago was called for When Everything Feels Like the Movies. I was in the middle of another finalist – An Inconvenient Indian – which I find well written, fascinating, not surprising and oh, so very sad, horrifying, and embarrassing. An account, and not a novel, it’s hard reading (for topic, not writing.) I admit I prefer my head in the sand when it comes to acts of horrible, racist unjust, that I cannot stop or change on my own. So, I turned my attention to When Everything Feels Like the Movies and read it in two sittings.

Written by Vancouver-based Raziel Reid, I see it won a Governor General’s Literary Award. The novel is inspired by the true story of Lawrence (Larry) Fobes King, an openly gay 15 year old who was shot to death by an eighth grade classmate inside a school in Oxnard, Calif, in 2008. The incident happened after he’d asked the teen who was convicted in his murder to be his valentine.

This book is heart breaking. I rooted for Jude the entire time, but In the end we still see victim blaming, very little tolerance, dysfunction in home and schools, and in the end, several young lives are ruined and ended before anyone had the chance to do better or be better.

I’ve read three out of the five Canada Reads finalist now, and am still waiting on the library wait lists to get to the last two, including the winning one. I have no idea how these books are chosen, They are interesting to be sure, but so far, I’m not sure any of them are super great reads.

My friend, Jerry Hudson called me “a reading slut” the other day. Jerry knows me well, but I’ll disagree on that account. I won’t read just anything, but I am reading more and more.

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