A curse, of sorts, has plagued Mimi and the women in her family for generations. Their attractive bodies seem to project “yes” even when their voices say no. Mimi learns that this curse is not just hers when she gets to read the personal journals that are passed down to each daughter on their 16th birthday. Now, in 2022, it’s Mimi’s turn to record her story. As she navigates the differences between her famous online persona and her lackluster life behind the screen, Mimi is also wrestling with the ghosts, consequences, and secrets of her family’s past. Lawless Spaces is a reckoning with maintaining the status quo and expecting women to be silent.
-Clare— From Clare's Recs
Perfect for fans of Deb Caletti, this “powerful, absorbing, and beautiful” (Booklist) coming-of-age novel in verse follows a teen girl who connects with the women of her maternal line through their journals and comes to better understand her fraught relationship with her mother.
Mimi’s relationship with her mother has always been difficult. But lately, her mother has been acting more withdrawn than usual, leaving Mimi to navigate the tricky world of turning sixteen alone. What she doesn’t expect is her mother’s advice to start journaling—just like all the woman in her family before her. It’s a tradition, she says. Expected.
But Mimi takes to poetry and with it, a way to write down the realities of growing into a woman, the pains of online bullying, and the new experiences of having a boyfriend. And all in the shadows of a sexual assault case that is everywhere on the news—a case that seems to specifically rattle her mother.
Trying to understand her place in the world, Mimi dives into the uncovered journals of her grandmother, great-grandmother, and beyond. She immerses herself in each of their lives, learns of their painful stories and their beautiful sprits. And as Mimi grows closer to each of these women, she starts to forge her own path. But it isn’t until her mother’s story comes to light that Mimi learns about the unyielding bonds of family and the relentless spirit of womanhood.
About the Author
Corey Ann Haydu is the author of OCD Love Story, Rules for Stealing Stars, Eventown, and several other critically acclaimed young adult and children’s novels. She currently teaches at the MFA Writing for Children program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughter. Learn more at CoreyAnnHaydu.com.