Pauline Books and Media
This book was my introduction to Leslea Wahl's writings. It was a good read. I enjoyed it so much that as I was approaching the end I purchased Wahl's other novel to added it to my to be read pile. This is a good clean Christian young adult novel. This book has a little bit for all readers of the genre, a young man who has become an Olympic star and instant celebrity, a shy girl from a small town, committed to school and to her church. And we have a lot of action.
The book is told in alternating point of views. Sophie, a dedicated student, amateur reporter, amazing photographer and devoted Catholic. Jake on the other hand, has just instantly become famous, from someone who was unlikely to make the team to Olympic Silver Medal in Snowboarding. He has new wheels, and his parents have moved to a small town to try and slow his rise to fame a bit. Silver Springs is not where he wants to be. So he is putting in as little effort as possible in school, just waiting until he is old enough to get out of town. But his fame has followed him to town and is interrupting everything Sophie holds dear. She might be the only girl in town not smitten with Jake.
The book opens with this thought from Jake: "I have a theory. Every person I've ever met in the past year fits into one of three categories. They're either Walkers, Talkers, or Stalkers. Walkers are those who stare from a distance, completely lacking the guts to approach me, then slowly walk away pretending they don't care.
Talkers include my parents, coach, and advisors. They have this obsessive need to always tell me what to do. Stalkers are the most common, and they all want something" but for some strange reason Sophie and Jake seem to connect. But soon things start taking a turn for the worse, first all 4 tires on Jake's jeep are slashed, and then he is found with a joint, which he swears is not his. But by now Sophie has seen another side to Jake and she wants to come to his defence.
Reading teen or young adult fiction often reminds me of what I have been through, and what I hope to help my children avoid. In this book the two main characters are very real; both have flaws, and both make mistakes. But both are also challenged by the events in the story and have the opportunity for growth. Leslea Wahl does a great job or exploring the hearts, minds and emotions of teens. She captures both someone in church who is a little judgemental, and Jake the Olympic star that is too big for this small town.
The book has great characters and really good character development. The action constantly builds as the story progresses. And the mystery adds a nice twist. The book is really well written. I had figured it out before the big reveal, but I did have a different suspect for a while. It is a great read. One of my key judgements for books is would I read it with my kids or want them to read it when they are older. And it is a big yes, I think this would be a great read for both my son and daughter in a few years.
I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from Wahl in the future.
Books by Leslea Wahl:
The Perfect Blindside
An Unexpected Role
(Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: A Year of Reading Intention - Catholic Reading!)