This is a great middle grade novel for tweens and teens about being strong in the face of adversity. I was enthralled by the many different topics and layers in the story. Kai Strand is a wonderful story-teller.
The story shows how a teen can achieve whatever she wants, even against all odds, if only she believes in herself, is true to herself, and perseveres. There will always be friends who put us down and who even try to destroy us and our reputation if they get a chance. The important thing to remember is that we don’t have to not hang around kids like that. We can have good friends, people who will help us to be the best that we can be.
This story is about Natalie Edwards. She is bright, talented, and self-assured. Because of this, Trudy her seeming friend, becomes jealous and envious. The next thing the reader realizes is that the friend tries to destroy everything the Natalie stands for and believes in. She even tries to destroy her reputation which she built step by step in a praiseworthy manner.
Although there are sad elements in the story, it is so much a part of tween culture now. Teens and tweens are bullied and treated badly in the hands of their friends. This is something that isn’t expected but it definitely happens often enough that we have to take note of it. The earlier that kids can learn to be careful and to choose their friends wisely, the better.
I recommend this book to all kids, especially kids who fit into Natalie’s persona. These are usually kids who are prone to being abused and bullied if they aren’t careful. There is also the lesson of persevering despite abuse and low-minded individuals who try to undermine one’s integrity and values. Ideally, teens and tweens must be true to themselves, regardless of what others think, say or do. What a great lesson for kids!
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth
Kai Strand writes fiction for middle grade and young adult readers. Her debut novel, The Weaver, was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC ebook awards. She is a (very lucky) wife and mother of four amazing kids. The most common sound in her household is laughter. The second most common is, “Do your dishes!” She and her family hike, geocache, and canoe in beautiful Central Oregon, where they call home.
To find out more about Kai’s books, find links to her published short stories and discover all the places to find Kai both virtually and in person, visit her website at: http://www.kaistrand.com. She also love to hear from readers, so feel free to send her an email or visit her facebook page at Kai Strand, Author.