Posts Tagged 'humiliation'

Fifteen Seconds of Normal by Alex Marestaing

fifteen-seconds-of-normal

Genre:  Realistic Fiction/Romance

# of Pages 292

**special review**

Kaeya is a recent transfer who is hiding the fact that she has Tourette’s from her classmates.  She wants people to accept her for who she is and not the disease she deals with daily.  Thatcher learns that his father has left his mother when he finds his mother crying inconsolably and he has to take his sister to school without even taking the time to shower or comb his hair.  Unfortunately, it is picture day at school and he takes the worst photo of his life.  Even more unfortunate for him is that a classmate makes a meme out of the picture and it goes viral.  As Kaeya desperately tries to fit in and earn a date with her crush, Thatcher wonders if he’ll ever survive this humiliation.  Through unexpected circumstances they come together and begin getting to know each other.  Could they be exactly what the other person needs?  Could this be the beginning of something special?

This book tackles issues that many other books don’t, such as the influence of social media on teenagers and Tourette’s, which is a syndrome many teens probably do not know much of anything about.  Yet, the focus of the book is not on hate, judgment, or humiliation but instead on love, patience, and kindness.  Kaeya and Thatcher are extremely engaging characters and their thoughts and emotions are carefully crafted so that the reader wants to know more about each of them and how their relationship will continue to develop.  This is a really engaging, unique story that will take teens by surprise.  Recommended.

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Boot Camp by Todd Strasser

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  235 p.

RAC Book: Yes

2010 Iowa High School Award Winner

Garrett is forcibly taken from his home and transported to Lake Harmony, which is a reform school for teens.  His parents basically signed their rights away and give the boot camp the right to use whatever force they feel is necessary in order to steer their child down the “right path.”  Garrett believes that some of the decisions he has made are ones he would make again and that his parents just can’t handle the publicity of having a difficult child.  As he struggles not to succumb to the torture, beatings, and humiliation he comes to the terrible realization that he may never get out unless he bends to their will.  As he looks around he sees those who have thrived in this school and appear brain washed because of it and those who refuse to give in and look beaten down and exhausted.  How can he survive without losing who he is and what he believes in?

Todd Strasser has put the spotlight on these teen bootcamps that are more plentiful in the U.S. than anyone might think.  Parents pay thousands of dollars to have their child straightened out, but often the tactics used by these places are unconstitutional.  These places work by cutting any trust or communication between parents and their children so that no one thinks they have any choices, but to let the school do what it thinks it best.  This is an issue that teens and parents should be aware of and this is a fast paced, exciting story that all teens will love, but especially teen boys.