Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

RTW – Best Book in September (+ Banned Books)


Edit: Whew, you guys, I was starting to think I’d just imagined Hemingway’s Old Man on a challenged/banned list, but I FINALLY managed to dig up a few links; see bottom of the post 🙂

YA Highway asks:

What was the best book you read in September?

A small confession before I begin:

I planned to read Brave New World this month.  Honest.  I checked it out from the library and had all intentions of reading it, but…

It’s not my fault that when I went to renew it, someone else had requested it and I was forced to return it.

So with that truth out of the way, here are my thoughts on some of the books I DID read:


Okay, I didn’t really read much in September, so there will only be ONE sentence:

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride – clever title, great voice, a kick-ass group of friends, some creepiness (but not so much I had to sleep with the lights on), the term no-no cha-cha which is brilliant, and finally…Ashley.  ‘Nuff said.

I also read my selection for Fall Book Club, but my thoughts on that won’t go up until Friday.

SO (and this is where things get muddled), since I usually do Paper Hangover’s Friday Fives on, well, Friday, but this week I can’t, I’m posting my five today (on a Wednesday!).  Whew, things are getting wild!*

The topic is:


The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck – gritty, raw, depressing, definitely my kind of book

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway – an old man and a giant fish, along with some symbolism and a lot of depressing reflection

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – speculative fiction like this (and 1984, Animal Farm, etc.) sometimes scares me more than horror stories

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume – one of the first YA books I read (as a kid) and it left the biggest impression on me.  I remember thinking that Judy Blume was a freaking genius.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – one of the first YA books I read (as an adult).  I saw that green cover at a library book sale and had to have it.  I read it and cried.  I wanted to adopt the main character and take care of him.

Tons of other great books on the list, like Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson or To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee or Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, but I had to narrow it down.

Happy Friday Wednesday!

*I don’t get out much.  I’m sure that’s stating the obvious.

Hemingway links:


Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Things I like: cats, snacks, baseball, green tea, taking pictures of trees & movies so bad, they’re good.

13 thoughts on “RTW – Best Book in September (+ Banned Books)

  1. I loved Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret. It still seems weird knowing that Judy Blume books get challenged. Makes no sense to me.

  2. I love all those banned books (excluding Twenty Boy Summer, but only because I haven’t read it yet!). Judy Blume is a freaking genius!

  3. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer feels like the name of some post-punk goth band that would show up in my cue. That is all. 🙂

  4. I love those banned books, especially Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret? Talk about a book more helpful than health class.

    It’s been some time since I read it so maybe this is obvious to everyone but me, but why on earth is The Old Man in the Sea banned? I can’t think of anything objectionable in that book. (Not that there’s much in the other books, either, but this one’s really stumping me.)

    • I thought the same thing – it really is just about an old man and the sea. No cussing, sex, or anything. Maybe fishing is considered violent? Or it’s banned for being extra depressing??? I’ve seen it on several lists, but no one can really figure why it’s been challenged.

  5. love your banned book list! I don’t know your fave book of the month, but it sounds intriguing!

  6. The Old Man and the Sea was banned?

  7. Okay, all I have to say is that I LOVE LOVE LOVE The Perks of Being a Wallflower! Why do people always ban the good books? I guess he does do LSD in it, which some parents might object to. But it’s still the best book ever.

  8. Love Perks! Love Judy Blume! Great choices!

  9. I adored Perks of Being a Wallflower! And I keep meaning to pick up Hold Me Closer, Necromancer–my Good Reads TBR list is getting WAY too full.

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