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My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Book Review: Goodbye Stranger


Synopsis (from GoodReads):

Bridge is an accident survivor who's wondering why she's still alive. Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture. Tabitha sees through everybody's games--or so she tells the world. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through seventh grade?   This year everything is different for Sherm Russo as he gets to know Bridge Barsamian. What does it mean to fall for a girl--as a friend?   On Valentine's Day, an unnamed high school girl struggles with a betrayal. How long can she hide in plain sight?

Review:

What happens when a group of friends goes from elementary to middle school?  How do they change?  Will they stick together or grow apart?  At first glance Goodbye Stranger, by Rebecca Stead, seems like a book for young readers.  But with themes of cyberbullying, school dress-codes, slut-shaming, and sexting, this book is a thought-provoking page turner for anyone 13 and up.

I found this book to be very moving.  As I look back on my own transition from Jr. High to Sr. High, I could easily relate to the fragile friendships in the story.  Some of my friendships survived while others did not.  I have painful recollections of being shut out of one group, which allowed me to find other friends.  At the time, it was devastating, but having to find another place to hang out at during lunch led to friendships that I have maintained to this day.  Much of the slut-shaming comes about so quickly in the book, I am reminded how easily reputations are made and broken.

I am so glad I am not a teen right now!  They must deal with problems (and consequences) that thrust them into adulthood far too quickly.  I really loved how this book dealt with all these topics without being preachy.  And I liked how the parents were not portrayed as idiots.  Far too often in teen books, the parents are shown to be clueless.  While the adults in the book did not have all the answers, I found them to be realistic, and not two demential stereotypes.

This is a quick read that would be a great book to facilitate a discussion between parents and young teens on some of these issues.  It is both heartbreaking and hopeful.


Rating:  
Source: Public Library
Format:  Kindle Ebook
Recommendation: If you like teen realistic fiction, you will enjoy this.
Will I read more from this author:  Yes!

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MsArdychan has read 2 books toward her goal of 180 books.
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MsArdychan's bookshelf: read

The Hummingbird's Daughter
Joseph Anton: A Memoir
The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris
The Help
The Fry Chronicles
A Clash of Kings
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
A Game of Thrones
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Mockingjay
The Giver
Savvy
The Red Pyramid
Anne of Green Gables
The Complete Novels
Slam!
Slam
Hatchet
Scorpions


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