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Reading Like a GirlNarrative Intimacy in Contemporary American Young Adult Literature$
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Sara K. Day

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781617038112

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617038112.001.0001

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“Opening Myself Like a Book to the Spine”

“Opening Myself Like a Book to the Spine”

Disclosure and Discretion in Constructions of Friendship

(p.29) Chapter 2 “Opening Myself Like a Book to the Spine”
Reading Like a Girl

Sara K. Day

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter discusses the novels that provide helpful insights into questions of intimacy through their representations of the relationships between adolescent women as well as their construction of relationships between narrator and reader that mimic, reflect, or complicate understandings of intimate friendships. These include Sarah Dessen’s Keeping the Moon, Natasha Friend’s Perfect, Stephanie Hemphill’s Things Left Unsaid, Siobhan Vivian’s A Little Friendly Advice, Lizabeth Zindel’s The Secret Rites of Social Butterflies, and E. Lockhart’s Ruby Oliver series. Although these novels approach their representations of friendships in a variety of ways, each offers a view of the often fundamental role that these relationships play in the experiences of adolescent women. Each novel also constructs the role of the reader as friend, even as the construction of this role may draw attention to or deny constructions of disclosure within friendships as difficult or dangerous.

Keywords:   adolescent women, intimacy, narrator, young adult novels, Sarah Dessen, Natasha Friend, Stephanie Hemphill, Siobhan Vivian, Lizabeth Zindel, E. Lockhart

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