Not Otherwise Specified

Featured
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
1657 1
Not Otherwise Specified
Publisher
Age Range
13+
Release Date
March 03, 2015
ISBN
9781481405966
Buy This Book
      
Etta is tired of dealing with all of the labels and categories that seem so important to everyone else in her small Nebraska hometown. Everywhere she turns, someone feels she's too fringe for the fringe. Not gay enough for the Dykes, her ex-clique, thanks to a recent relationship with a boy; not tiny and white enough for ballet, her first passion; and not sick enough to look anorexic (partially thanks to recovery). Etta doesn’t fit anywhere— until she meets Bianca, the straight, white, Christian, and seriously sick girl in Etta’s therapy group. Both girls are auditioning for Brentwood, a prestigious New York theater academy that is so not Nebraska. Bianca seems like Etta’s salvation, but how can Etta be saved by a girl who needs saving herself? The latest powerful, original novel from Hannah Moskowitz is the story about living in and outside communities and stereotypes, and defining your own identity.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Perfection
(Updated: March 25, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Not Otherwise Specified was my third Hannah Moskowitz novel, so I thought I knew what to expect. I liked the other two. Not Otherwise Specified, though, has this totally unfortunate cover compared to the others, and I don’t know. Basically, my body was not ready for the emotional impact this book had on me. Moskowitz blew my mind with this one, making me laugh and even cry.

The thing about this book is that I’m sort of surprised I loved it so much. I mean, it’s written in this stream of consciousness style, which, let me just tell you, is very much not my thing. I’ve had a lot of bad experiences with it, because it generally feels very artificial or like the author was on a lot of drugs. That’s not the case with Not Otherwise Specified. Pretty much immediately, I was caught up in that VOICE. Etta’s voice is vibrant and real and she felt one hundred percent real to me.

My heart ached for Etta throughout this book. She’s a black, bisexual former ballerina struggling with an eating disorder in Nebraska. She’s the very definition of not fitting in, but also fitting in too much. What Etta hates more than anything is that she’s not otherwise specified. She can identify herself as having an eating disorder and as being bisexual, but everyone still puts her in these boxes. She hates that she doesn’t qualify by the technical definitions as anorexic, which just makes her feel like more of a failure, even more out of control, the same reason she gave up ballet which she loves so much.

"You’re not supposed to look at a girl’s body when she dances, not in that way. She’s supposed to be unobtrusive. She’s supposed to just be part of the music, and here I come in all attention-grabbing and ETTAETTAETTA and you can make that sound as awesome and special0snowflakey as you want but at the end of the day that’s not what people want ballerinas to be."

Etta sums herself up so well with this quote. She’s vibrant, full of life, and charismatic as hell. However, she tries so hard to fit in, like she did with the Dykes, her group of lesbian friends, who ejected her when she dated a guy, despite the fact she always said she was bi. She tried to be the ballerina that everyone wanted, but became so obsessed with control and how her body was wrong that she developed an eating disorder. Not Otherwise Specified is partially the story of Etta coming to terms with her Ettaness.

A big part of Not Otherwise Specified is about friendship. Friends, even when they love you, can be bad for you. Etta loved the Dykes, but they’ve turned on her and are bullying her. Even so, she kind of wants them back. It’s hard for her to let go, especially of Rachel. She makes a new group of friends through an audition for Brentwood Academy, a school for theater. They still all make mistakes with one another, but the difference between the friendship dynamics is stark.

Not Otherwise Specified gets dark. I mean, the issues are really heavy, but that’s counteracted by Etta’s voice, which is so full of life and humor. Etta doesn’t let things get her down for long; she’s really sweet and optimistic. She sticks up for people and cares so hard. Yes, it hurts, and I marked a lot of quotes for how much they saddened me but also struck this really honest chord. The ending, though, made me happy cry for the progress that’s being made.

I loved every moment of this book. I think it’s beautiful and important. READ IT READ IT READ IT.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

I Don't Want to Wash my Hands!
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
From beloved children's author and illustrator Tony Ross, comes a...
Dance Like a Leaf
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
As her grandmother's health declines, a young girl begins to...
The Bitterwine Oath
 
3.3 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
San Solano, Texas, is a quaint town known for...
Sing Like No One's Listening
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A moving YA debut about a talented young singer...
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first book in an epic and romantic YA...
The Good Girls
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
One of Us Is Lying meets Sadie in this...
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Iduna harbors a dark secret. On the surface,...
The Camelot Betrayal
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from...
Incredible Animals
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this illustrated guide, discover fascinating and unusual information about...
Special Delivery
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A lovely book to share with children in an expecting...
Eyelike Stickers: Trains
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hundreds of irresistible, reusable, and collectible stickers to mix, match,...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
It is twenty years since the events of La Belle...

Latest Member Reviews

Speechless
 
4.7
"this story is amazing! i have a project for honors english 10, and this is a great story to chose..."
The Bitterwine Oath
 
3.3
"THE BITTERWINE OATH is a YA fantasy and light horror read. Nat is the descendent of the girl who put..."
 
4.3
"If your expecting the same type of books that you’ve been reading in this series, you’d be wrong. This whole..."
The Kinder Poison
 
5.0
"From start to finish I absolutely adored this story. The opening scene was so much fun to read while Zahru..."
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
"HEIRESS APPARENTLY is a YA rom-com with deep themes that make it such an engaging and captivating read. Gemma is..."
The Good Girls
 
4.0
"THE GOOD GIRLS is an enthralling read. The book begins after the disappearance and seeming murder of the police chief's..."
All our Hidden Gifts
 
4.0
"Maeve finds a pack of tarot cards while cleaning out a closet at her school. What starts off as curiosity,..."
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
"DANGEROUS SECRETS: THE STORY OF IDUNA AND AGNARR is a great MG/YA fantasy romance. Based on Frozen, this book tells..."
Hot British Boyfriend
 
4.0
"When Ellie is completely humiliated by her best friend an crush, she decides the best way to escape her jeering..."
The Camelot Betrayal (Camelot Rising, #2)
 
4.7
"THE CAMELOT BETRAYAL continues Guinevere's story as she seeks to find her footing in a world that keeps throwing her..."
Loveboat, Taipei
 
4.7
"WHAT I LOVED: Ever’s pushy parents have already gotten their way by making her apply to medical school, but..."
The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea
 
5.0
"THE MERMAID, THE WITCH, AND THE SEA is a lush, beautiful, and romantic fantasy that follows Flora, now living as..."
Super Fake Love Song
 
4.3
"SUPER FAKE LOVE SONG is a YA contemporary romance about siblings, feeling like an outcast, and friendship. Sunny definitely feels..."
The Companion
 
5.0
"Margot is the survivor of a devastating accident in which her entire family drowns in their car. She is taken..."
How It All Blew Up
 
4.3
"Amir is an Iranian American teenager who is gay and in the closet. When another student blackmails him about his..."
Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1)
 
5.0
"I really enjoyed Skyhunter, another winner from Marie Lu. Talin is a refugee and is mute. She is a Striker,..."
Now That I've Found You
 
4.0
"Evie is a young actress living in L.A. and has a legacy to live up to. Her parents are famous..."
Clown in a Cornfield
 
3.3
"When Quinn and her father move to a tiny town, she's hoping to fit in and finish high school. Kettle..."
Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA
 
4.7
"'Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA,' edited by Emily X.R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma,..."
 
4.0
"Maisie is a young teenage girl growing up in the Bronx. The story takes place during the early 1960s. Maisie..."