A reliance on somewhat technical language where legal issues are explained may serve to pull some readers out of the story. The character voices are all strong in their own right, but when the legalities come into play, the texture of the narrative changes, becoming much more adult and somewhat awkward. In addition, Blair seems to have little difficulty getting time alone with David in her bedroom and going out to a club that serves alcohol. This degree of apparent inattention from her otherwise caring parents may strike readers as unlikely and distract from the book’s message.
With a clear understanding of the teenage mind, the story moves very naturally through the day-to-day activities of a group that’s too mature for childish things but lacks the knowledge and experience to navigate the adult world. One of the highlights of the novel is the depiction of healthy, cooperative relationships with adults, with no stereotypical arguments to be seen. A diverse cast and the inclusion of characters outside of the school microcosm gives the story an authentic feel and adds varying perspectives. This is a vivid and well-constructed portrayal of teens struggling with 21st-century concerns.
Takeaway: This timely contemporary novel introduces teens to the social and legal risks of sexting while pulling them in with strong, authentic character voices.
Great for fans of Judy Blume, Jennifer Brown, Laura Steven, Helen Schulman.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A