Wanted: Teen Seeking Truth and a Desire to Save the World

Summary:

She didn't witness her parents' death in a bomb attack, but K (15) knows they were killed in a bomb attack. Now, she narrowly escapes a bombing in the train station. The man who rescued her says it was another Brotherhood attack against the Citizens and recruits her to help him find these terrorists. With nowhere to go and nothing to lose, K agrees to go undercover at a Brotherhood high school, using the identity Verity Nekton. In a matter of weeks, K/Verity realizes that things are not always black and white; and there is more to life than chasing right and wrong. She's made her choice, but is it one she can live with?


BTSYA / Teen Reader (16):
I really enjoyed all the bombshell secrets that arose in K’s story. They’re too shocking to spoil. The story is packed with action and some very important real-life implications. One of Us has a general theme of us vs. them (as in the brotherhood vs. the citizens). This helps to remind us about the divisions among us today, whether it is amongst race, religion, gender, et al. I learned that people who we consider as enemies aren’t necessarily so different from us. We all aren’t that different, regardless of who we are or what we believe in.

Despite this, there are some things I took issue with. I had a hard time understanding the history of the brotherhood and what it stood for. Also, the ending wasn’t as good as I hoped for. Readers need to be aware of bad language, slurs, discrimination, violence, and intimacy in various scenes. For these reasons, I suggest One of Us to anyone 14 years or older. It would certainly be a great gift for fans of mystery.

Parent Perspective:
What a refreshing book. K/Verity is a strong, relatable character. She gives equal voice to the usual things 15-year-olds worry about for themselves, as well as observing and thinking about the world around her and how to figure out the Truth. Through K/Verity, the author offers contrasts to the two parts of town, physically and demographically, without imposing judgment on either side. She also does an excellent job laying out the dangers of pre-judgment and the nuances of feeling like you "belong" somewhere. With the exception of the initial scene, there is no "on screen" violence.

 


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Teen readers who like in spy books and mystery, or who crave characters with strong voices will find it nearly impossible not to read the very realistic One of Us in a matter of a day.

Content Awareness Factors:

This book is intended for young adults and adults. Characters use foul language, including slurs; there is violence (terrorism is part of the plot), and there is also some sex (not graphic).


Type of Book:
This thought-provoking story about beliefs and how they are influenced. This would be a good high interest / low readability book for a high school student.
Educational Themes:

Terrorism and terrorist cells play a central part in this story. There is no mention of religion or global location, allowing for discussions of belief systems, manipulation, assumptions, et al, not just in the context of terrorism but gangs as well.

Reading Level:
4.1
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
10 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
12 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 16
Purchase Recommendation:
Definitely, borrow. You're going to want to share. Adults and teens alike will find this a book worth reading and recommending.

Title One of Us
Author Jeannie Waudby
Publisher Running Press © 2015
ISBN 9780762457991
Material Hard Cover
Genres Mystery, Realism | Realistic Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
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