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Hole in the Middle Paperback – 6 Jul 2017
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Dazzling, one hundred percent believable, and laugh-out-loud funny. Kendra Fortmeyer has an admirably weird brain (Kelly Link)
Kendra Fortmeyer's debut is more heart than holes, creatively brilliant, wacky and wise. An author to watch! (Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, author of the Carnegie Medal-shortlisted The Smell of Other People’s Houses)
The magical realist element allows for a sharp but never preachy take on body image, romance and internet culture, most delightfully when strangers speak up about their own "holes", having "found an empowering metaphor for their lives" in the narrator. An optimistic ending is hard-won rather than saccharine. With this debut, Fortmeyer establishes herself as a writer to watch. (Irish Times)
Fortmeyer's humor, sweetness and focus on sexual and medical consent are winning (The New York Times)
HOLE IN THE MIDDLE is the story of 17-year-old Morgan Stone, who's spent her life concealing the eerie hole in her torso -- and what happens when she confronts a world obsessed with body image, internet celebrity and unlikely love storiesSee all Product description
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Morgan soon becomes an internet sensation, Hole Girl, when the world sees her body and she is hounded by paparazzi and doctors. The story kicks off when Morgan meets Howie, aka Lump Boy, who has a lump on his side, the exact size of Morgan's hole (oh, the innuendo).
It's a crazy situation made crazier by the hounding press and the forums cropping up online, everything from vile hate to romantic fanfiction. Morgan's voice was convincingly that of a stubborn teenager, so of course there were times that she irritated me and I just wanted to give her a stern talking to, but I think she has the right to be a bit peeved with the whole situation.
I loved Howie's character. He was a real sweetheart and a great addition to the novel. I didn't always agree with his reactions but I could see where he was coming from, which is what matters most.
Essentially, Hole in the Middle is about acceptance in all its forms, from Morgan's growth as a character to accept herself, to the acceptance of those around her, especially her parents. While Morgan's mother doesn't have so much of a problem with the hole, she does have a problem with Morgan's art: the story is a many layered one, which I loved.
I found there were times that Morgan's best friend and housemate, Caro, got swept under the rug a bit and there were some arguments that I didn't fully understand, but the hole (ha) situation is a bit of a pressure cooker, bound to blow up at any time when Morgan becomes reckless after years of hiding.
This is a great read if you want a slightly different, unique YA and you're not freaked out by the talk of body holes and fleshy lumps!
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