Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review: Teenie



Teenie by Christopher Grant
Genre: YA, Cultural - African American
Pages: 272 (Hardback)
Author's Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Knopfb
Buy it: Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

Teenie
Description:
High school freshman Martine (Teenie for short) is a good student, with a bright future ahead of her. She's desperate to be accepted into a prestigious study abroad program in Spain so that she can see what life is like beyond the streets of Brooklyn. She wouldn't mind escaping from her strict (though lovable) parents for awhile either. But when the captain of the basketball team starts to pay attention to her after she's pined away for him for months and Cherise, her best friend, meets a guy online, Teenie's mind is on anything but her schoolwork. Teenie's longtime crush isn't what he seemed to be, nor is her best friend's online love. Can Teenie get her act together in time to save her friendship with Cherise, save her grade point average so that she can study in Spain, and save herself from a potentially dangerous relationship? Christopher Grant makes a stunning literary debut with this warmly told story about friends, family, and finding oneself.

My Rating:
My Review:
Teenie is your typical teenager who wants to fits in.  However, her goals and academic success often set her apart from others.  Yet, she still yearns for a bit of attention here and there. Teenie gets her braces taken off and with the encouragement of her best friend, Cherise, gains some new-found confidence.  She is further encouraged by the attentions of senior basketball star, Greg  Millons.  While some things seem to be looking up, Teenie learns that life is not quite simple as she tries to reach academic goals and be a good friend to Cherise. She tries to get into a competitive scholarship program that would allow her to study abroad in Spain.  Teenie's naivete soon gets her into trouble and the right thing to do no longer seems so clear especially when you are a freshmen in high school.

I absolutely loved this book! Teenie's voice is so clear and strong.  I found myself completely invested in her life and struggles.  Even more fun, Teenie was often witty and I found myself laughing out loud for most of the book.  The relationship between Teenie is Cherise is also refreshing.  While not perfect, it is incredibly realistic.  I felt like the dialogue was something I could have had with my best friend in high school.  It was so easy to disappear into the story because I felt like I was there.

The book deals with important issues such as bullying, the dangers of the internet, sexuality, and rape.  However, Mr. Grant balances the issues so well that it isn't a sad read, but a moving one.   The book is both character and plot driven and I read it in one sitting.

It reminds me a bit of Speak by Laurie Halse Alderson but the touches of culture (Teenie's parents are West Indian) and the friendship between Teenie and Cherise sets it apart.

Tomorrow, Mr. Christopher Grant will be by to answer a few questions about his writing journey.



This book satisfies the 2012 Multicultural Book Challenge


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28 comments:

  1. This sounds like a really great read. Your review makes me want to go be friends with Teenie and Cherise for a while.

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    1. I want to be their friends as well. I just really felt like I was back in school.

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  2. This book really does sound amazing. I havne't read Speak, although I have heard a lot about it. You mentioned that the story, relationships and dialogue feel realistic and I think that is one of the things that would make me love this book.

    Bonnie @ www.handsandhome.ca

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    1. Books don't have to be realistic but when they do, I'm constantly amazed at how invested I am.

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  3. This is such a good book and one that I've definitely recommended to my students. A great story with beautiful writing.

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    1. Exactly! I'm no longer in the classroom or I would recommend it to students as well.

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  4. It is nice to see a man write a YA book. This book sounds great and a must read for teens.

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    1. The author is one of the things that drew me to the book. I was curious about the combination.

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  5. sounds so good, but probably too intense for me. thanks for the great review!!

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    1. It really isn't intense at all. It touches on tough subjects but not like it could.

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  6. I think I've heard of this one before but I wasn't sure what it was about! I'm going to try to read it sound because it sounds awesome.

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  7. I'll be back for the interview. The book sounds great.

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  8. I love books that can make you laugh out loud. This book sounds really good and Teenie sounds so like someone everyone can relate to. I think every girl goes though some of the emotions she does. The book sounds series, but it also sounds like one of those book that you'll get a lot out of.

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    1. It's serious but it there is a lot of funny moments. I think Teenie's wit really makes me the book less intense.

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  9. Lol, the only thing I saw was the quote at first and I thought that was the review ;) Well it did say it all

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  10. I adore books that have a strong character voice and can make me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. This sounds like a good book with real and authentic characters. I'm curious to see how Teenie handles her situations and grows in the process. I'll have to add this to my TBR list. Great review.

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    1. Thanks! I loved how she handled everything. She isn't perfect and she didn't think like an adult. I also love that there wasn't a lot of teenage angst involved. I hope you read it. I want to know what you think.

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  11. Thank you for the great review and the wonderful comments.

    Christopher Grant
    @nycsubwaywriter

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    1. Thanks for the opportunity to read and review your wonderful book.

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  12. This sounds like a really good YA contemporary novel. Thanks for highlighting it!
    NC
    Truly Bookish

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    1. No problem! I love that I'm participating in your challenge. I'm finding so many wonderful reads.

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  13. You've sold me on this one Alexis. I love stories like this one so I'll be adding it to my wishlist.

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  14. Thank you for the wonderful review. Teenie is going on my TBR right now!
    -FABR Steph@FiveAlarmBookReviews

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