Official Review: Kiss Your Elbow by Susan Stocker

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Samy Lax
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Latest Review: Kiss Your Elbow by Susan Stocker

Official Review: Kiss Your Elbow by Susan Stocker

Post by Samy Lax » 15 Apr 2019, 06:23

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Kiss Your Elbow" by Susan Stocker.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Imagine a story of a girl growing up in the 50s and 60s, finding it really hard to fit in with others her age and having overprotective parents to boot. You will wonder if this is just another memoir that could be full of disjointed childhood stories and fading memories. The answer is no. That’s not what Kiss Your Elbow by Susan Stocker is like. Far from it.

On February 13, 1950, Susan Lynn Webb is born into the Webb family, which consists of her mom, dad, and brother, Randy. Susan and Randy are as different as chalk and cheese, and Susan has a tough time growing up with a brother who doesn’t understand the importance of her imaginary mouse friend and would rather spend his time working on science experiments for which he often pulls her in as a potential guinea pig. Susan believes girls’ clothes are strange and unnatural and prefers to don boys’ clothing any time of day. She prefers playing sports after school and on weekend afternoons to anything else. What’s more, she excels at whatever sport she tries her hand at.

As years pass and she becomes a teenager, Susan discovers that she feels no attraction toward boys and has a strong affinity toward her own gender. Having an overprotective mother at home who likes her daughter to follow the norm and not stray in any way, Susan is unsure if this affinity is normal for a girl and initially has a hard time dealing with it and fitting in with a high school crowd. How does this impact the rest of her life? Can a girl who makes radically different choices than others in her age group live a happy life and eventually grow up into a confident adult?

Stocker demonstrates how crucial it is to have parents who are more like friends to their children and how they need to understand what the children are going through in life by putting themselves in the their shoes. Susan is a girl who grows up to be a tomboy, and her mother finds it really difficult to accept the fact that her daughter is different. She does feel for her daughter when she sees her suffering under social pressure and tries to help but, sometimes, this very help backfires—making things worse for Susan. But then again, Susan’s mom does want the best for her child—sending her to Don’s and Deb’s was just one of those things. It was another thing that Susan hated those sessions, especially due to the dressy girls’ clothes and shoes to match.

It is clear that the author has a way with words. She makes us relive her childhood with her when she talks about how she used food color to dye her dog blue. Then she chose to dye her guinea pig blue too. This is just one of the numerous adventures we see Susan embark on.

Stocker writes in a manner that makes us laugh out loud. However, there are parts in the book where you see what is happening in her life and instantly understand how difficult it would have been for her to cope with the situation. We have all been there and done that. Susan just seems to have done it all with a little more panache.

Dipping into this story proved to be a captivating experience, and the author’s work is remarkable. There aren’t many things that I did not like, and the simple misses are discussed below.

The book has some minor grammar issues. For instance, there is a sentence that starts out as “The rocket maybe a traveled a total of…..” and has an extra unnecessary indefinite article in it. At another instance, there is a question that reads “Where did you get such filth and why would you take such vial trash to school?” It seems like “vial” is a misspelt “vile.” However, such issues do not distract one from the story, and that’s why they will not affect the rating.

I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The story is charming, the chapters are well-organized, and the writing is excellent. Readers who enjoy memoirs that are relatable and explore various emotions will enjoy Kiss Your Elbow. However, there are a few instances when Susan is stuck in some awkward and embarrassing situations, which might make very young readers a little uncomfortable.

******
Kiss Your Elbow
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Post by gen_g » 17 Apr 2019, 04:55

This sounds like a really nice book for older children, and it seems like the author has explored various issues well. The premise is interesting, and I'll keep an eye out for it. Thanks for the review!

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Post by Ellylion » 17 Apr 2019, 07:20

I believe this book is an engaging and honest story about adolescence and family issues. I think it will help many to overcome potential difficulties and understand their family members or friends better. Excellent review!

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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth » 17 Apr 2019, 07:42

We need more of these type of books! A great book for youth trying to self-identify.
Great review!

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Post by kandscreeley » 17 Apr 2019, 07:43

I'm glad that this one has the right mix of seriousness and humor, but I don't believe the story is for me. I'm glad that you were able to enjoy it and that the grammatical issues were not bad. Thanks for the information.
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Post by Prisallen » 17 Apr 2019, 10:08

It is so hard for children who don't feel like they fit in with their peers. I love that there is humor in the book as well. Great review!

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Post by Dentarthurdent » 17 Apr 2019, 11:41

I suppose this is both a coming-of age book and memoir... Thanks for the detailed review. I wonder what the title alludes to.
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Post by DelusionQueen » 17 Apr 2019, 18:52

I usually have difficulty reading books with bad grammar but there are always some minor issues. Thank you for pointing those out. And I love coming-of-age books so much, definitely adding it to my shelf!

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Post by kdstrack » 17 Apr 2019, 22:41

Kids pass through so many stages as they grow up. I think it is harder now with everything in society changing so fast. Stories like this one can help relate and understand all these changes. Thanks so much for your review and the thoughtful recommendations.

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Latest Review: Kiss Your Elbow by Susan Stocker

Post by Samy Lax » 17 Apr 2019, 23:45

gen_g wrote:
17 Apr 2019, 04:55
This sounds like a really nice book for older children, and it seems like the author has explored various issues well. The premise is interesting, and I'll keep an eye out for it. Thanks for the review!
The premise is really well-planned out. I appreciate the work done by the author.

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Post by 8amaseter » 18 Apr 2019, 09:21

Susan's memoirs paint a good picture of the conflict of interests adolescence have with their parents. A lot has changed though, most parents have little time for their wards now partly due to work schedule. The book is also good for adults, this is a great review.

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Post by Bluebird03 » 18 Apr 2019, 15:18

Your delightful review had me laughing out loud. Dyeing a dog and a guinea pig blue? My childhood dog was lucky that the thought never occurred to me. Thank you for a very engaging review! :)

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Post by Chrystal Oaks » 18 Apr 2019, 15:48

A memoir, where older children and teens can relate to concerning identity, is a much needed book. A serious subject made humorous so everyone can relate makes this one unique. I have added it to my reading list. Great review!
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Post by brittanycobb089 » 19 Apr 2019, 16:56

Susan also did a remarkable job at describing the amount of pain she was going through in her book. Stories like this catches any parents attention.....this book would be add to my collection first.

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Latest Review: Kiss Your Elbow by Susan Stocker

Post by Samy Lax » 21 Apr 2019, 23:32

Ellylion wrote:
17 Apr 2019, 07:20
I believe this book is an engaging and honest story about adolescence and family issues. I think it will help many to overcome potential difficulties and understand their family members or friends better. Excellent review!
Kiss Your Elbow does define the huge role parents play in shaping their kids' behavior. It's a book worth reading.

Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!
“If you're reading this...
Congratulations, you're alive.
If that's not something to smile about,
then I don't know what is.”
― Chad Sugg, Monsters Under Your Head

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