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Joy McCullough

Author of Blood Water Paint

11+ Works 784 Members 49 Reviews

Works by Joy McCullough

Blood Water Paint (2018) 393 copies
Great or Nothing (2022) 68 copies
Champ and Major: First Dogs (2021) 59 copies
Enter the Body (2023) 53 copies
Across the Pond (2021) 35 copies
Code Red (2023) 13 copies
Not Starring Zadie Louise (2022) 12 copies
The Story of a Book (2023) 8 copies

Associated Works

That Way Madness Lies (2021) — Contributor — 105 copies


Common Knowledge




I was not expecting this book to be drafted in the form of monologues or asides or siliques as if I was reading a play. Each of the key female characters from Shakespeare's plays, as well as some key historical figures, are represented in the Traproom scenes. I enjoy poetry and I do enjoy Shakespeare's Blank Verse; however, I was very taken aback and I feel that you should be prepared as well, because Enter the Body felt more in line with a Collection of Poetry rather than a traditional Shakespearian Play or a novel. There seems to be very little interaction between the characters listed so it looses the give and taken and playfulness that is expected from a play -- especially Shakespeare's plays.

If you like poetry, enjoy reading song lyrics, or enjoy musical theater librettos then Enter the Body will be a good fit for you because there is a lot of depth and presentation of how each of these characters feel when looking back at their story -- it's just in the formats previously mentioned. But maybe the second part of the book changes this up.
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RedReviews4You | 5 other reviews | Jul 16, 2023 |
Eden was an elite gymnast, but a torn labrum ends her career. When an encounter with a school bully leads to a new friendship with a girl who jumped in to help, Eden discovers Casa Esperanza, a food bank with other resources like ELL classes. Eden learns about period poverty, and decides to help by sewing reusable pads. But Eden's mom - who started the successful company My Secret, which sells period products - isn't on board with Eden's new interest and activism, and forbids her to see her new friends. But it's too late: Eden's idea for a ballot initiative has become Soledad's senior project, and with both high school and middle school students (including theater kids) on board, their effort goes viral.

Eden's mom seems rigid and unreasonable for most of the book; her grandma and her dad, a pilot, are supportive, but not always available. Ultimately, after serious conflict, Eden brings her mom around, and they figure out how to work together.

See also: Go With the Flow, Revenge of the Red Club, The Sea in Winter


"But you don't have to be the best at something to enjoy doing it." (5)

But gymnastics was my life for as long as I can remember, and now I have no idea what my life is. (30)

"Sometimes who we are inside doesn't match who we are outside." (30)

"Eden, of course you're going to mess up. That's why I invited you - so you can learn. But you learn by messing up. So try again." (81)

...those things are not who I am. (98)

But the fact is, the one thing I was an expert on is no longer my thing. So I had to be a beginner at something eventually. It might as well be this thing that makes me feel like I want to go out and slay some dragons. (126)

"Something doesn't have to directly benefit you to be worth doing." (165)

But too many things were out of my control....The dream didn't die, it changed. (228)
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JennyArch | Jun 27, 2023 |
World War II....Check

Giving Beth a strong voice even from beyond the grave.....Check

A book unwilling to shy away from racial tensions of the time (and talk about how bad they are)...Check

All the 40's references...Check

I loved the different authors' takes on Louisa May Alcott's beloved characters (although, clearly, I am one who never had Jo as LGBT). I loved seeing the similar, and yet different, arcs each girl went on. I didn't hate Amy like I do in the original Little Women. I loved Beth being written as novel in verse.....

The only reason this book took me so long to finish was other books were due back first. ;) I think for the right teen reader, this book will be of great enjoyment!
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msgabbythelibrarian | 3 other reviews | Jun 11, 2023 |
Okay so the text of this book is nothing original but it is still super sweet. You can tell a lot about a person by the fact on if they have dogs. ;)

This book really will be excellent at looking back on 2020--there are masks at press conferences, the electoral college map, Kamala with Joe. But my favorite is just the dogs. Who doesn't love dogs??
msgabbythelibrarian | 3 other reviews | Jun 11, 2023 |



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