Title: Purple Daze
Author: Sherry Shahan
Published: March 22nd 2011 by Running Press Teens
Source: Finished copy sent by publisher for review
Summary: "Purple Daze is a young adult novel set in suburban Los Angeles in 1965. Six high school students share their experiences and feelings in interconnected free verse and traditional poems about war, feminism, riots, love, racism, rock 'n' roll, high school, and friendship.
Although there have been verse novels published recently, none explore the changing and volatile 1960's in America-- a time when young people drove a cultural and political revolution. With themes like the costs and casualties of war, the consequences of sex, and the complex relationships between teens, their peers, and their parents, this story is still as relevant today as it was 45 years ago."
Thoughts: Purple Daze is like a time capsule into 1960s. Enter the world of drugs, sex and war, all told through the eyes of six unique teenagers. Though some readers may deem this book a bit controversial, I found it fascinating and truly unique. I loved the poetry, the letters, the historical passages...I loved it all.
One thing I will say is Purple Daze is unquestionably meant for older readers (15 and up). There's a lot of foul language and a handful of adult content that I'm sure parents would not want their younger teens/kids reading. With that said, if you're in that 15 and up bracket, I would recommend checking out Purple Haze.
The book is majority of the book is told in verse from each character. First, there's Ziggy. She is your typical rebellious teenager. Boys think she doesn't know they like her because she...uhh, gives her "milk" away for free, but she knows. She's more clever than people give her credit, but deals with so many issues, it could make your head spin. Then there's Cheryl. She's Ziggy's best friend and my favorite character of the six. Her innocence is endearing, and she is just a great person. The last girl is Nancy. Nancy's character is not as predominant as the other characters, but she still plays a role in their lives. I wasn't really a fan of Nancy, but to each their own.
If you know me, you know I love a good handful of romance in my books. Purple Daze is one of those books that has more lust than love, and even though there wasn't that much (if any) romance in it, I still enjoyed it. It's the history, I guess. I will say that out of all three boys, Phil was my favorite. His story just hooked me, and I really enjoyed hearing what he had to say.
For fans of Dazed And Confused, history and verse, hippies and hoopla, this is the book for you. I'm kind of surprised this is a YA book because I honestly thing adults would enjoy it, especially those who grew up during the 1960s. It's not an easy read, but it's still a good one.