When We Were Good

When We Were Good The year isn t starting out too well for Toronto high school senior Katherine Boatman Not only has her oldest friend ditched her for yet another boyfriend her beloved grandmother died on New Yea

  • Title: When We Were Good
  • Author: SuzanneSutherland
  • ISBN: 9781927513118
  • Page: 100
  • Format: Paperback
  • The year 2000 isn t starting out too well for Toronto high school senior Katherine Boatman Not only has her oldest friend ditched her for yet another boyfriend, her beloved grandmother died on New Year s Eve, leaving a void of goodness in her life that Katherine s not sure how to fill While overwhelmed with sadness and self doubt, Katherine unexpectedly finds new love,The year 2000 isn t starting out too well for Toronto high school senior Katherine Boatman Not only has her oldest friend ditched her for yet another boyfriend, her beloved grandmother died on New Year s Eve, leaving a void of goodness in her life that Katherine s not sure how to fill While overwhelmed with sadness and self doubt, Katherine unexpectedly finds new love, both for Toronto s underground music scene and for her would be savior a straight edge, loudmouthed misfit named Marie As Katherine seeks comfort in jagged guitars, mind reading poets and honest conversations, she struggles to figure out not only what she and Marie might mean to each other, but also what it truly means to be good.

    540 Comment

    • Farzana Doctor says:

      Suzanne Sutherland's debut YA novel is a fabulous story of teen angst. This is a page-turner with a tight plot, beautifully described (Toronto) settings and a well-drawn protagonist navigating her world of grief, parental neglect, friendships gone awry, the indie music scene and confusing sexual desires. It's also a story about how friendships, resilience, literature and music can pull us out of hardship and help us find ourselves.

    • Vikki VanSickle says:

      Writing characters with mental illness is always a delicate balance. Representing the character’s experience in an authentic way without alienating the reader is tricky stuff, but Sutherland manages to nab this balance. Marie is an interesting character and a unique love interest for Katherine, not solely because there are so few lesbian love stories in YA, but because she is just as irritating as she is endearing. I oscillated between really liking Marie to finding her oppressive throughout t [...]

    • Forever Young Adult says:

      Graded By: AlixCover Story: Chronologically AppropriateBFF Charm: Maybe Roger MurtaughSwoonworthy Scale: 1Talky Talk: Straight Up AngstyBonus Factors: DiversityAnti-Bonus Factors: Peer PressureRelationship Status: Young MenteeRead the full book report here.

    • ChristaSeeley says:

      This review originally posted at More Than Just MagicNot only does When We Were Good tell the story of a young girl trying to figure out who she is and how she can do some good in the world, it’s also a portrait of a city at a particular point in time. That city being, of course, Toronto.Sometimes the city a novel is set in is inconsequential. It could be any major city centre, but this story is so grounded in Toronto it’s impossible to imagine it somewhere else. Sutherland has taken great c [...]

    • Melissa (YA Book Shelf) says:

      While the world didn't end when the calender turned from December 31st, 1999 to January 1st, 2000, things in Katherine Boatman's life aren't going so well. Her best friend and her couldn't be further apart and her grandmother died suddenly on New Year's Eve, leaving a void that she doesn't know how to fill. In When We Were Good, Suzanne Sutherland offers the world a beautifully written debut novel with an edgy realness that teens who are struggling with (or who have struggled with) their sexuali [...]

    • Jamie says:

      I received my copy from First Reads.I really enjoyed this book with its plot and themes about goodness and not caring about the views of society. I liked the strong personalities of the characters as well as the varying voices of Katherine in different situations--clipped with family, but open about Megan and Marie. The possible romance between Katherine and Marie was also well-done in that they don't immediately fall for each other, but the author lets it build up to leave the reader uncertain [...]

    • Jenny says:

      I agree with one of the reviews here that I am probably too old to enjoy this book, although I did appreciate the Toronto references and thought how a pre-teenaged me would have been thrilled to recognize the downtown and indie rock landmarks name-checked in it. (Though it might have been more fun had the author branched out a little beyond a few Annex sites and the Kathedral/Reverb/Holy Joe trifecta of kiddie punk rock in her survey of all ages Toronto circa 2000.) Overall, it felt like a since [...]

    • Seanean says:

      librarytalker/201Katherine is facing her final year of school without her best friend: her grandmother. Her grandmother had always been there even when her overly busy parents weren't, so when she passes away from a heart attack on New Year's Eve, it means that Kathy doesn't have her most important person anymore.And that's when Marie walks into her life. Marie's a straight-edge, no booze, no drugs, no filter-on-her-mouth, kind of girl. She talks and talks, filling in the silence in Kathy's life [...]

    • Brianna says:

      To be quite honest, I wasn't a fan of the plot nor the characters when I was reading. As a Canadian the Toronto setting was familiar, but I wasn't sure what it was that had me binge reading and looking forward to being able to sit back down with the book again. For some reason, Katherine's life became my own. I've got no interest in underground Toronto music scenes of straight edged misfits and ex friend drama, but for some reason I understood. I wasn't even sure if I liked the book, but I kept [...]

    • Ruth says:

      A coming-out-coming-of-age story in many ways, set in my beloved Toronto. It was a great kind of feeling to read about streets and places I know and also to contextualize that with music and the real end of an era, literally.It's a lovely, engaging read that delves into the sort of maelstrom self-discovery brings when you least expect it. I loved this character's relationships with her parents - as a couple and individually. I liked how detached she was from them and how she compared it with the [...]

    • Marie says:

      Well crafted first novel effectively captures "turn of the century" mid-town Toronto, and the young people who inhabit. Inner conflicts, outer behaviours, school and those friends one grows out of. And new ones to grow "in to" A death is the trigger for risky behaviour, testing the waters, self doubt and acting out by a girl who really feels alone. Didn't like the "stock" dysfunctional family (do any YA novels have normal families?) though, it was a little "pat". Our heroine's "vision quest" alo [...]

    • Jessica Lewis says:

      When We Were Good is a beautiful debut novel. It reads effortlessly and the author is so in tune with her main character and her environment. It fills a much needed space in young adult novels and doesn't assume anything of itself and what it's saying. It just is this lovely book of a girl going through things for the first time in her teenage years - experiencing real, depressing grief and growing into herself and learning about what she wants. I would heartily recommend this book to anyone.

    • Liz Bugg says:

      If I could have given When We Were Good a 4.5, I would have. Suzanne Sutherland has arrived on the YA scene with a commendable first novel. The narrative voice is flawless, and the details of various Toronto settings contribute to a book that is well worth a read. I am excited to see where Suzanne will go from here.

    • Alix West says:

      I think I was too old to really like this one. I was also pretty uncomfortable with the way the main character's mental illness was handled, and also how pushy the love interest was towards someone who was clearly struggling with her sexuality. Read my full review at Forever Young Adult.

    • Julia says:

      This book was good, and the characters were fairly relatable, but we didn't really see why Marie fell in love with Katherine, and that was disappointing.

    • Amy Mathers says:

      amysmarathonofbooks/when-we

    • Melinda says:

      Four stars for Marie, who is a great character.

    • Danielle says:

      Totally sweet coming out, coming of age story-- punk shows, mix tapes, browsing for that perfect compact disc-- Sutherland nailed the early 2000s baby dyke experience.

    • Patsy says:

      Date Read: 2013This is my1sttime reading it.Rating: 4 stars.

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