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’89 Walls by Katie Pierson | Five Minute Review


Title: ’89 Walls
Author: Katie Pierson
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Coming Of Age,
Series: Standalone
Published On: June 5th 2015
Publisher: Wise Ink
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback
Source: Sent by author for review
ISBN 1940014557 (ISBN13: 9781940014555)
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

College is not in the cards for Seth. He spends his minimum wage on groceries and fakes happiness to distract his mom from the MS they both know will kill her. It’s agony to carry around a frayed love note for a girl who’s both out of his league and beneath his dignity.

Quinn’s finishing high school on top. But that cynical, liberal guy in her social studies class makes her doubt her old assumptions. Challenging the rules now, though, would a) squander her last summer at home, b) antagonize her conservative dad, and c) make her a hypocrite.

Seth and Quinn’s passionate new romance takes them both by surprise. They keep it a secret: it’s too early to make plans and too late not to care. But it’s 1989. As politics suddenly get personal, they find themselves fighting bare-fisted for their beliefs—and each other—in the clear light of day.

Gems of Wisdom

Katie Pierson’s ’89 Walls follows a teenage girl named Quinn during the year 1989 as the world deals with change such as Abortion laws and as President Ronald Regan orders: “Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!” I don’t often read books dealing with political issues but ’89 Walls did make me think.

This book switches perspectives between Quinn, a girl who grew up in a wealthy neighborhood with an older sister and a mom and dad, while Seth was forced to grow up quickly once his father died in Vietam and his mother was diagnosed with MS. Through the book I came to appreciate what is known as “The Greatest Generation.” Pierson managed to weave pop culture icons such as Madonna and Green Day into a politically driven story. It wasn’t a light and fluffy novel with a basic love story and limp climax. This novel was ruff around the edges, gritty with hard times, plagued with real political issues- some we still deal with today. Frankly, I loved it. 

The two main characters were, without a doubt, on different sides of the political spectrum. Quinn grew up with a “wealthy white man” as a father and an executive mother who were hard core Republicans while Seth grew up on welfare and tended to lean toward the left as a Democrat. While I will not say which party I belong too I will say that while I did understand Quinn’s debates with her father, I felt as though their house was ruled more by news headlines than God. Seth liked to argue political issues as well and, while he and Quinn’s dad didn’t see eye to eye, Quinn’s dad was more willing to offer up a handshake and concede to Seth’s points more that Quinn’s. Half of the book seemed to revolve around Quinn backing down from her own argument and siding with her father’s point of view.

This book has mature content. If you are under eighteen (18) I DO NOT recommend it. 

a jeweled rating


About The Author

Katie Pierson freelances for local non-profits, using her background in public policy and grassroots organizing to overthrow the patriarchy one introverted step at a time. When she’s not writing fiction, she returns library books, makes soup, and tries to be cooler than she really is by hip-hopping at the YMCA.

Her published work includes political Commentaries in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, articles for Minnesota Journal (a public policy monthly) and Nebraska Humanities journal, and a chapter for an anthology calledNebraska Voices: Telling the Stories of our State. She is a member of SCBWI, MNSCBWI and the Authors Guild. She also blogged on comparative culture and politics during her family’s sabbatical year in London, England.

She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in American History from the University of Pennsylvania (where she dabbled briefly in being a College Republican) and a Master’s in American History from the University of Minnesota. She grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and now lives with her family in a suburb of Minneapolis. ’89 Walls is her first novel.

You can find Katie on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, or her Website!



4 thoughts on “’89 Walls by Katie Pierson | Five Minute Review

  1. Sounds rather interesting, Jordan, although the sound of Quinn backing down in her arugments, as you describe it, makes me unhappy. I’m fiercely, staunchly someone who won’t let others put me down and I don’t really like the fact that she lets herself side with little fight. Her father, too, sounds like a difficult character, making me feel like he’s a bit of a hyopcrit, giving Seth more of a chance than his own daughter. These things disgruntle me.
    Nice review! I’m glad you enjoyed this, none the less. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Romi,
      It is very frustrating! I wish Quinn and her Dad had a better relationship and her mother would’ve sided with her more. I can see where Pierson came from; women where gaining ground in the ’80s but I don’t see how Quinn (or her mother) couldn’t stand up for their own opinions!!



  2. Thanks for the great review, Jordan! I’m interested in your take on Quinn’s relationship with her dad. Do you agree that by the end of the book she’s learned to call him out on his white male privilege and stand on her own? Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Katie,
      You are very welcome! About your question: I think both Quinn and her Dad realized everyone is entitled to their own opinion by the end of the book. I wish she would have stuck to her guns in the beginning though!


      Liked by 1 person

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