Her Story: Ladies In Literature with Charlotte Huang

Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a special, month-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader in which we celebrate the literary female role models whose stories have inspired and empowered us since time immemorial. From Harriet M. Welsch to Anne Shirley, Becky Bloomwood to Hermione Granger, Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a series created for women, by women as twenty-four authors answer the question: “Who’s your heroine?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!

About Charlotte Huang

Charlotte Huang is a graduate of Smith College and received an MBA from Columbia Business School, which is clearly something every aspiring writer should do. When not glued to her computer, she cheers her two sons on at sporting events and sometimes manages to stay up late enough to check out bands with her music agent husband. Charlotte lives in Los Angeles and is the author of For the Record (Delacorte, 2015).

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreads

Evelyn Bucknow from Laura Moriarty’s The Center of Everything, is what you’d call a serious girl. There’s a lot going on, both in her world and in her head, and navigating all of it is a struggle for her.

The story is written from her point of view, and is about her messy child and teen years, between the ages of 10 and 18. Just a few of the many things that Evelyn grapples with are: being poor, the irresponsible choices of her young, single mother, cruel things kids say to her at school (because see above), and the unintentionally hurtful actions of her first love. She does everything within her power to improve her crappy situation. But that’s the thing: as a child and even as a teen, her options are limited.

Even though I was technically already an adult when I first read this book, I felt an immediate connection with Evelyn and that sense of being powerless as a kid. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t a white girl, living on welfare in the middle of Kansas. With my own complicated childhood and growing up as a Chinese-American in a mostly white suburb, there were plenty of ways that I felt “on the outside.”

Like Evelyn, I was someone who thought hard about things and took other people’s words and actions to heart, even when I shouldn’t have. We both developed overly strong senses of justice because it becomes a guide when nothing else seems predictable.

But as reassuring as it was to see someone else process their world in a similar way, the bigger reason I love this book and this character so much, is that despite her imperfect and unfair life, Evelyn has to figure out how to make it a worthwhile one.

Over the course of the story, she grows from being a child who stubbornly clings to her sense of right and wrong, into a more mature teen who’s capable of empathy and compassion. Not that it comes easily. She discovers that being in the right isn’t always the most important thing and that waiting for justice to appear, often just leads to frustration and disappointment. Her learning to move past things, forgive, and live her life is what I found most uplifting.

I think the reason I’m drawn to contemporary fiction, both as a reader and writer, is that it features realistic characters for whom everyday life is perplexing (or sometimes even harrowing) enough. The stakes aren’t always literally life-and-death, but for sensitive souls they can definitely feel that way.

Title For The Record
Author Charlotte Huang
Pages 320 Pages
Genre Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Publisher Delacorte Press
To Be Published November 10th, 2015
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

If Almost Famous were a YA novel. A raw, honest debut celebrating music, friendship, romance, and life on the road.

Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like…until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything

Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen hearthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level — not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.

Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band — and their fans — love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule…Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?

One response to “Her Story: Ladies In Literature with Charlotte Huang”

  1. I love The Center of Everything! I feel like in a lot of ways it’s an under-the-radar book but it just has so much heart and voice. Glad to see someone else recommending it! Looking forward to For the Record.
    Molly | wrapped up in books recently posted…Rewind: May 2015My Profile

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