The Careful Undressing of Love by Corey Anne Haydu + Blog Tour Contest

Posted February 10, 2017 by Sara 3 Comments


Today’s book review is part of the official blog tour for The Careful Undressing of Love. Be sure to keep reading for your chance to win one of three signed copies of the book!

Corey Ann Haydu’s The Careful Undressing of Love is the kind of book I wish I had written, if I were a person who wrote books. Lush, seductive, and brimming with magic, it oozes with nuanced insight into what it means to be a teen girl.

The girls of Devonairre Street have always been told they’re cursed. Any boy they love is certain to die too soon. But this is Brooklyn in 2008, and the curse is less a terror and more a lifestyle accessory—something funky and quaint that makes the girls from the shortest street in Brooklyn special. They wear their hair long and keys around their necks. People give them a second look and whisper “Devonairre” to their friends. But it’s not real. It won’t affect their futures.

Then Jack—their Jack, the one boy everyone loved—dies suddenly and violently. And now the curse seems not only real, but like the only thing that matters. All their bright futures have suddenly gone dark.

The Careful Undressing of Love is a disturbing and sensual story of the power of youth and the boundless mysteries of love set against the backdrop of Haydu’s brilliantly reimagined New York City.

Haydu’s writing has an easy, breezy flow to it, and I loved the way the story unfolded so naturally within the pages of The Careful Undressing of Love. Set in a pseudo alternate reality — where things are much the same as they are today, albeit with a few key differences — so the book reads like contemporary fiction, even if there are some liberties taken with actual events. I loved the way Haydu used this to more freely explore some major issues — like growing up, especially as a young woman; and coping with the fallout of a major national tragedy.

The Careful Undressing of Love doesn’t once flinch away from tackling the intense scrutiny young women face in our society, in particular young women of color. And whether the girls of Devonairre street are truly cursed or not is irrelevant to the story’s message; that girls are judged and scrutinized and blamed and forced to accept responsibility for things far beyond their control. The curse isn’t some ancient magic; it’s society and it’s something women have faced for centuries and continue to face today, in real life. It’s being silenced and maligned and objectified and sexualized and told to fall in line, all things any woman can tell you she’s experienced in some capacity, at some point in her life. Just look at recent news headlines this week, and you’ll see examples of women being told to shut up. It’s no surprise that The Careful Undressing of Love is eerily relevant — because the issues it addresses are not new, and are still issues we face today.

But let’s move on to the other reasons I loved this book.

The mood and atmosphere Haydu sets is so rich; I could feel the setting of Devonairre street ooze off the page and come alive inside my mind. The sidewalks and front steps and gardens and rooftops and open windows and warm breezes. It felt both otherworldly and entirely real at the same time.

And that’s really a good way to describe The Careful Undressing of Love as a whole: both otherworldly and entirely real. The book dances subtly along the lines of magic realism, but does it truly cross over? Hard to say. But that delicate balance lend a dreamy nuance to the book, and readers will find themselves captivated by the girls of Devonairre Street and their possibly cursed lives and the lengths they will go to find love and protect love. Look for The Careful Undressing of Love in stores now.

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of three (3) signed copies of A Careful Undressing of Love by Corey Ann Haydu (ARV: $17.99 each).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on January 30, 2017 and 12:00 AM on February 13, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about February 14, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Week One:
Week Two:
Corey Ann Haydu is the critically acclaimed author of several novels for young readers novels, including OCD Love Story, which earned her a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. Her books have been Junior Library Guild, Indie Next, and BCCB Blue Ribbon selections. Corey lives in Brooklyn with her dog, her fiancé, and a wide selection of cheese.

 

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Sara
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3 responses to “The Careful Undressing of Love by Corey Anne Haydu + Blog Tour Contest

  1. danielle hammelef

    Great review! I always love how you can find the meaning behind the author’s words so the books become so much more than face value for me. I really want to read this book now after your post.

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