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  • September 2011
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Something Like Hope – A Neglected Read

Normally the new teen books from East Liberty get checked out a couple of times before they become just regular teen books. But sometimes a book or two slips through the cracks for some indiscernible reason and doesn’t get checked out at all. Nothing! For six months, many sets of eyes pass these books by.  Well, I can’t let that happen!  As a teen services librarian, I felt duty bound to get to the bottom of the Mystery of the Unchecked-Out Book.

Something Like Hope by Shawn Goodman is one of those books, and looking at the stats of the other copies in the system, it is having trouble getting into reader’s hands in the majority of other branches.  Why?  I’m not sure.  My haphazard guess is that the cover looks like it contains a maudlin story with a plot leaning heavily towards  the Canada Goose-centric.

What do you think?

The story that is told, once you get past the cover, is decidedly not schmoopy.

Shavonne’s life isn’t as dire as Precious‘s from Push, but it’s not too far off. We meet her in a cell of a juvenile detention facility.  She wants to get released so she can raise her daughter, but there’s something holding her back from behaving the way she needs to in order to gain her freedom.  She betrays the people who are nicest to her and she becomes a target for a sociopathic guard.  She doesn’t want to get close to anyone else because she can’t stand caring about people, in case they get hurt.

Something Like Hope is short and it stings – it’s like a slap in book form, and each chapter is short and narrated in Shavonne’s terse thoughts.  But it makes your head feel clearer once you’re through it (also like a slap? I’m not advocating slapping anyone.)  After I was done I wanted to Do Something, but I didn’t know what.  I wanted to help Shavonne, but she wasn’t real.

She could’ve fooled me, though.

Check out Something Like Hope today, or try one of these readalikes:




I don’t wish nobody to have a life like mine : tales of kids in adult lockup / David Chura.


Real stories of the teenagers that are living in lockup.





Upstate / Kalisha Buckhanon.


What a locked up teen really says to his girlfriend.



Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen


A true story of a girl’s stay in a mental institution and how she figures herself out.


-Tessa, CLP – East Liberty

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