June 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Teens Review the Latest Ann Brashares and “Rebel of Sands” YA

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From a tale of family drama by the author of “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” to the latest entry in the adventure and action series, these YA titles are just what the Kitsap YA reviewers ordered.

brashares_togetherBRASHARES, Ann. The Whole Thing Together. Delacorte. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780385736893. Gr 8 Up—This is a book about the life of two intermingled families. Seventeen-year-olds Sasha and Ray have never even met despite sharing everything in Wainscott, from a room to their three older sisters. This all changes when death and marriage collide. Forcing the two families to come together as one for the first time.

I liked how the cover displayed a scene of the beach because the book mostly takes place in a beach house in Wainscott, South Fork of Long Island. Although on the beach there are three boys and two girls, when really there should be four girls representing Emma, Quinn, Mattie and Sasha and one boy representing Ray. Other than that I feel like the cover reflects the contents very well.

I thought that Brashares gave a very honest to goodness look into the emotional and chaotic subject called divorce. I think that she did a good job of showing how that affects people and their lives, by having the book told in different perspectives.

I like the writing style, switching from the perspectives of one character to another; although I thought that the way she switched perspectives was very confusing. Because there was no clear mark, I felt like you had to read very far in to the chapter until you could understand the character change.—Annabel N., 12

kcagan_piperperish__spanCAGAN, Kayla. Piper Perish. Chronicle. Mar. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781452155838.
Gr 9 Up—
This is a one-of-a-kind, captivating story of an aspiring artist struggling to leave behind her small town and make it big in New York City. The author weaves an inspiring, book that had me turning page after page.

The cover was bold, and I was immediately drawn to the book. The white background helped the brightly colored title stand out. The painted style of lettering was something I’ve never seen before on any books I’ve read.

I fell in love with the characters of this book; they were original, real, and inspiring. They face everyday problems and struggles. Piper dreams to leave her small town and fulfill her dream of going to art school. I connect with Piper the most because she’s an aspiring artist dealing with relationship problems. I can tell the author spent a lot of time developing the characters, giving them each a different personality.—Avery E., 12


Piper’s life is all about art. She wants to get away from her life in Texas and go to art school in New York, but after many relationship mishaps, with friends and boys, she doesn’t know how her future will turn out. Not to mention, she has a crazy family to deal with too.

I thought it was cool how the title looks like it was painted because the main character loves to paint, but you wouldn’t really find out anything about the book by looking at the cover.

I thought it was really cool how so much was built up in the story behind the main plot. It really seemed real, because it wasn’t just about the story of the main character, there was so many other things too.

I didn’t really like reading this book, but I think it was just because I can’t really relate to any of the characters. It wasn’t really my type of book.—Veronica C., 13

hamilton_rebelHAMILTON, Alwyn. Traitor to the Throne. (Rebel of the Sands: Bk. 2). Viking. Mar. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780451477859.         

Gr 8 Up—This is yet another awesome series to get lost in. If you like magic, action, and adventure, this book is right down your alley.

I think that this was the most beautiful covers on a book I´ve ever seen, to be quite honest. It caught my eye immediately and it definitely reflects the contents. I thought this cover was really cool because it actually shows where most of the book is going to take place, and the main character, which I haven’t really seen before.

I think the thing that really defines this book to me is the characters. I couldn’t help but feel for everyone because the author gave them such realistic traits with simple words and I thought it made the story that much more compelling. Another thing I couldn’t help thinking was how much detail went into each one. Even the less important characters were given really intricate backstories that tied into the main plot, and I think the author just did an amazing job.

I don’t really have any problems with any aspects of the book and I thought it was great through and through. But I have to admit that there were some sad and disappointing moments that I didn’t agree with at first, but it did make the book more realistic.—Covani L., 13

Maid-in-the-Kings-Court-Lucy-WorsleyWORSLEY, Lucy. Maid of the King’s Court. Candlewick. Mar. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763688066.       

Gr 9 Up— Another redheaded Elizabeth? No way! But, working in the king’s court isn’t all perverted fun and games. Along with remembering which name belongs to whom, Eliza must brave the tangled and treacherous web of the English court.

The cover is beautiful and totally reflects the contents. The girl’s headdress is weird, but historically appropriate.

The most compelling aspect of the book was the characters. Their reactions were very real, and the conversations interesting and natural.

I read this book all in one night. Very compelling and a real page turner!—Olivia V., 13

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