Posts Tagged 'gossip'

In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  228

**Special Review**

Samantha has had a crush on her best friend for as long as she can remember, but since he is unavailable she decides to try and strike up a conversation with Carter at his senior party.  Carter is the unofficial king of the high school and everyone loves him.  However, when Sam approaches him she is met with embarrassment and ridicule.  As she stumbles out of Carter’s room a girl sees her disheveled and crying and comes to the conclusion that Carter raped her.  Soon the rumors start flying and Sam is caught unawares until it is too late.  At that point several girls come forward and reveal that he has done heinous things to them as well, but never to the point of physical or sexual assault.  Sam is unsure how to stop the terrible rumors that everyone was quick to believe and she wonders if she owes it to his previous conquests to keep up the facade.  Meanwhile, Sam starts getting threats toward her by the small inner circle that believes Carter’s story.  Will Sam reveal that although he was cruel, Carter did not attack her physically?  Will Sam be able to face her small town if she comes clean?

This is an almost haunting book because it is so believable.  This misunderstanding could easily happen and once the rumors start it can be hard to stop.  Carter’s character is deplorable in many ways and he has done terrible things to many girls in the school, but is that a reason to let him suffer for something he didn’t do?  The reactions of everyone around Sam are believable and the ending is accurate, which many readers may struggle with.  Fans of Thirteen Reasons Why will love the harsh truth and reality of this story and will find themselves thinking about it long after they have finished.  However, readers looking for a fun romance should keep looking.  Recommended.

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Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  313

RAC Book:  Yes

The Sullivan family enjoys a nice lifestyle living in a big house with a very prestigious reputation.  Their grandmother is nicknamed Almighty because she has so much influence in society.  On Christmas Day Almighty announces that one member of the Sullivan family has offended her and the entire family will be cut off financially if that person does not confess.  The three teenage girls immediately write confessions and deliver them to Almighty on New Year’s Eve.  They all three believe they were the ones to offend Almighty and put their family’s future in jeopardy.  What would you be willing to admit if your financial security depended on it?

This story is very interesting as the three confessions weave together and the reader tries to figure out who was the person who actually offended Almighty.  The characters are well written and easy to identify with, which makes it easier to care about what happens to this family.  The Sullivan parents are vapid and uninvolved, but the kids are all unique and have a healthy dynamic with each other.  The ending is satisfying, but it’s the confessions that will interest readers the most as these girls admit what they have done without thinking about how these actions could influence the family.   Recommended.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Age Level: 14 and up

# of pages: 288 p.

RAC Book: Yes

Clay Jensen is shocked to find a box of 13 audio tapes in a package addressed to him on his doorstep one afternoon. The note says that the tapes are to go to 13 people and if someone fails to send them on to the next person on the list then another copy of the tapes will be released publicly. As Clay begins to listen to them he learns that they are spoken by Hannah Baker, a fellow high school student who recently committed suicide. Each tape discusses one of the reasons that led to her suicide and which people were involved. As Clay anxiously awaits to find out how he played a part in her suicide he can’t help but notice how terrible high school can be and how a bunch of little, seemingly insignificant, incidents can add up to a terrible high school existence for someone else.

This story is powerful and not for someone looking for a fast read. It reminds us all that sometimes when something is said or done to hurt another intentionally it can have lasting effects and can even lead to other major events in that person’s life. The theme of the story is that we are all responsible for our own actions.  Hannah never denies it was her choice to end her life.  However, there were many times where someone could have acted differently that may have changed that decision. Even though it is a fictional story, many students will identify with at least parts of Hannah’s high school career and may even know someone showing warning signs for suicide. A very good read with an important message that students will hopefully think about long after they are finished.

The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie by Jaclyn Moriarty

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Age Level:  14 and up

# of Pages:  494 p.

RAC Book:  Yes

Bindy Mackenzie is a very studious and conscientious high school student.  She is the type who always gets the highest grade in the class and is not afraid to tell anyone what she thinks.  Due to her frank and curious nature she has sometimes alienated students around her.  This year all juniors are required to take a Friendship and Development (FAD) class that she finds useless and a waste of time.  The class asks her to look back at her own life so far and reflect on what she sees.  She finds that she is not happy with her relationships and becomes obsessed with making friends in her (FAD) class.  As she focuses on this more and more she loses sight of everything that was previously important to her.  She also starts to get really sick.  Can she pull herself together to become the person she realizes she wants to be or is it too late?

This story is told through Bindy’s journal and includes diary entries, memos, emails, essays, and even transcripts of conversations she has heard.  Bindy records every thought and interaction she has every day.  As she struggles with her home life, school life, and health her journal ramblings can seem a little superfluous but in the end everything makes sense as the surprising ending unfolds.  Students who make it through some of the mundane chapters will be pleased with how the story ends and will appreciate why the mundane portions of the book were important in order to piece together what happens to Bindy.  The story also discusses many issues that teenagers face everyday and shows students that there are many ways to deal with those issues, some more effective than others.

 


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