Haydu, Corey Ann

Lawless Spaces

(2) YA When Mimi turns sixteen, her mother, Tiffany, delivers a family inheritance: notebooks filled with poetry penned by their female ancestors and a blank one in which to write her own. Mimi--a guarded loner whose DIY fashions made her internet famous--is skeptical of anything Tiffany has to offer. Their formerly tight relationship is now strained, with contention over Mimi's social media activity and Tiffany's sketchy boyfriend. After Tiffany publicly accuses a respected male celebrity of sexual misconduct, a ­bewildered and angry Mimi turns to her family's written history and uncovers a difficult legacy of women suffering under male expectations, harassment, and even assault. Mimi's raw, unstructured free-verse poems are intimately narrated, drawing readers close to her messy, competing emotions as she processes both Tiffany's revelation and her own unsettling experiences with men, online and in person. Poems from her ancestors' notebooks are told in a too-similar voice but are nonetheless riveting historical snapshots tracing a painful lineage of silence. When mother and daughter eventually stand up for each other, their moving reunification is encouraging. Among a growing selection of novels that approach #MeToo themes from a teen perspective (see also Charles's Muted, rev. 3/21, and Caletti's One Great Lie, rev. 9/21), this one stands out for its complex, thought-provoking depiction of intergenerational trauma.


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