Lauren Yanofsky Hates the Holocaust
by Leanne Lieberman
All her life, Lauren Yanofsky has had to deal with her cultural history. Her dad is a Holocaust historian and often shares his knowledge with her. Her family is Jewish and sends her to Jewish camp every summer where stories about past atrocities are taught.
Lauren just can't seem to get away from the Holocaust.
She privately declares to herself that she's no longer Jewish, though she's not sure how to truly de-convert. She leans on her friends for support and tries to live as non-Jewish a life as possible outside her home.
However, things are never that easy.
Her best friend suddenly decides to join the smokers outside every day. Her other friends join a prayer group and get parts in the school musical. And her crush plays Nazi war games with his friends, wearing swastika armbands and shooting each other with water pistols.
She can't get away from the Holocaust no matter how hard she tries and she's trying very hard.
Final thoughts: This one is deep and sometimes difficult to read. It's focused on a time in high school when teens are really just struggling to figure out who they are and where they fit in. At times, Lauren feels more like a thirteen year-old girl instead of a junior in high school. Her awkwardness around Jesse seems out of place for someone her age. Her brother is written as if he's autistic, though it's never specifically stated; his side story sometimes seems out of place at times. I'm just having a hard time figuring out how I feel about this one.