Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Guest Review: Thousand Words - Jennifer Brown

Author: Jennifer Brown
Publisher: Brown Books for Young Readers 

Ashleigh's boyfriend, Kaleb, is about to leave for college, and Ashleigh is worried that he'll forget about her while he's away. So at a legendary end-of-summer pool party, Ashleigh's friends suggest she text him a picture of herself -- sans swimsuit -- to take with him. Before she can talk herself out of it, Ashleigh strides off to the bathroom, snaps a photo in the full-length mirror, and hits "send."

But when Kaleb and Ashleigh go through a bad breakup, Kaleb takes revenge by forwarding the text to his baseball team. Soon the photo has gone viral, attracting the attention of the school board, the local police, and the media. As her friends and family try to distance themselves from the scandal, Ashleigh feels completely alone -- until she meets Mack while serving her court-ordered community service. Not only does Mack offer a fresh chance at friendship, but he's the one person in town who received the text of Ashleigh's photo -- and didn't look. 

Acclaimed author Jennifer Brown brings readers a gripping novel about honesty and betrayal, redemption and friendship, attraction and integrity, as Ashleigh finds that while a picture may be worth a thousand words . . . it doesn't always tell the whole story.

Julianne's Thoughts
This is not the kind of book that I would normally pick up to read. I’m not the kind to pick up the heavy stuff because I’ve seen a lot of drama in real life already. But this book is definitely something I didn’t regret picking up. 

The concept of the story is how Ashleigh’s life turned upside down with one photo she send to his boyfriend. She never thought that sending a picture of herself would put her in the biggest problem ever.

I’ve once picked up one of Jennifer Brown’s book; The Hate List, but I put it on my on-hold list. So I kinda knew first hand that this would be a heavy book. But I never thought I would like the next book I’d read from her. And I have a lot of things to say.

If you’ve read the blurb, you could easily understand what this book is about. But the development of the character, as well as the story is what made me love this book. Being a girl who has been bullied before, I know how hard this kind of situation is. And my issue wasn’t even as heavy or tragic as Ashleigh. When I started reading the book, I had a lot of moments where I saw just how awesome this book was going to be.

I loved Ashleigh. Granted she did something I would consider stupid and petty. But in a way, she’s naive so I think that made her do what she did. I saw just how mean and sad her situation was. I hated that everything blew over her, and then her friends just shrugged her off, then her parents were so disappointed with her. And I understand that well.
“I know,” I said. “I wasn’t technically alone alone, but”- I paused – “but I ruined something”
It was really sad seeing her situation. Yes, she is surrounded by people she loved, but she never felt the love. She felt only the disappointment, the anger, the disbelief and the wariness. It even made me mad at her parents because, yes she did do something stupid. A very stupid mistake, but them not consoling her is hurtful. Then there’s the bullies. I never thought that I could be violent with books. I think I almost got to the point but I never got affected as much as how I hate Ashleigh’s ex-boyfriend. Scratch that. I hate how the whole student body reacted, especially the mean messages that she received after the event. Sorry for being crude but the only thing I thought was “fuck you fuck you fuck you. Fuck all you bullies!” Being mean and crude is not something I tolerate, especially since Ashleigh never did one thing about the event. She never thought that this would happen. She never meant to do anyone harm, she didn’t even send it to random people. She never thought that her ex-boyfriend would do the most hurtful thing to her. She was na├»ve, yes. She made one very stupid mistake. But that mistake did not make her deserving of such hateful words, stupid name-calling, and one sided judgements.

It helped a lot when Mack was there. Though honestly, I’m not really a big fan or Mack, but I knew he contributed a lot to help Ashleigh regain her confidence and belief in herself. I liked him because he gave a challenge to Ashleigh. He never judged her. He never let her feel out of reach. He was there, and there wasn’t even a big romance in it until the end. I got to see them support each other and even though I don’t like Mack a lot. I knew that they were great for each other.

I think I finally understand why this book was a hype back when I first saw it. It definitely drew emotions in me, and I was glad that I had the chance to read this. This was the kind of books that would help someone be better and be kinder to those who are judged. It definitely reminded me. :D

Julianne's Rating
Check out Jules Book Shelf for more reviews by Jules, my lovely guest reviewer!

Jules seems to have loved Thousand Words so I'm definitely adding this to my wish-list!
So over to you: Have you read any of Jennifer Brown's works?
Are there any books that focus on issues like bullying that you'd recommend?

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