Review: Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz

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NOSBook Title: Not Otherwise Specified
Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Published Date: March 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis
Etta is tired of dealing with all of the labels and categories that seem so important to everyone else in her small Nebraska hometown.

Everywhere she turns, someone feels she’s too fringe for the fringe. Not gay enough for the Dykes, her ex-clique, thanks to a recent relationship with a boy; not tiny and white enough for ballet, her first passion; and not sick enough to look anorexic (partially thanks to recovery). Etta doesn’t fit anywhere— until she meets Bianca, the straight, white, Christian, and seriously sick girl in Etta’s therapy group. Both girls are auditioning for Brentwood, a prestigious New York theater academy that is so not Nebraska. Bianca seems like Etta’s salvation, but how can Etta be saved by a girl who needs saving herself?

The latest powerful, original novel from Hannah Moskowitz is the story about living in and outside communities and stereotypes, and defining your own identity.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Simon Pulse via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review
There is such a shortage of bisexual main characters in YA, so when I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it.

I liked Etta’s voice almost immediately, and I was able to connect with her in a way that I haven’t been able to connect with many characters. I’ve struggled with not fitting in. I struggled for 5 years with the realization that I was interested in both men and women.

Not to mention I have other health issues that set me apart from other people. So feeling like an outsider is not a new feeling for me.

Etta found this group of people who cared for her and accepted her as she was. Now that was a great thing to see. Mason, James and of course, Bianca. Bianca she had met in group for their eating disorders and James was her brother and Mason was the guy that Etta was sort of attracted to.

I still cannot figure out why I didn’t enjoy this as much as I was wanting to. I think a lot of it had to do with Bianca and even Etta’s relationship with her. First of all, Bianca was fourteen. What the heck was she doing around a bunch of seventeen year olds. I know Etta was just trying to support her, and be there for her, but there were times that the friendship would set off alarm bells in my head.

And yet, I know what it’s like to not have anything in common with people your own age. I know what it’s like to relate to someone older or younger than you. So while sometimes I’d get weirded out by the friendship between Etta & Bianca, usually I understood it. So I was sometimes conflicted.

I thought the character development for Mason & James was not as strong as it should have been and normally, I’d consider that a book’s downfall, but in this case, I was enamored with Etta’s voice, so I was willing to overlook certain things, like the character development not being as strong for these two as I was hoping.

All in all, I did enjoy this book. It was an enjoyable book, but I wish I had loved it like I wanted to. I am giving it 4 stars and I do recommend this book for people who want diverse books, because this one fits that bill to a T.

One comment on “Review: Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz

  1. Kate Conroy says:

    I definitely agree with your point about the characterization of Mason and James. They felt so flat to me.

    Like

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