Freshman Reyna Fey is trying to find her - and some friends - at her new school. All her friends are at Ridgeway, she's at Belltown, "the other school." When fellow freshman Olive Barton strikes up a conversation, Reyna isn't sure what to think. Olive is a bit blunt and doesn't seem to have any filters. It is refreshing, unnerving, and giving Reyna a label. Thanks in part to several history projects, the girls' relationship grows into a budding friendship. Until they share some secrets. The revelations drive them apart. Reyna works hard to keep secrets a secret. Olive becomes vengeful, directing her anger at Reyna. When there is an accident at the train tracks, Reyna is forced to rethink her life: who is she? what does she stand for?
Don't let the strong keywords deter you from reading Promise Me Something. It is an exceptional read, especially as Reyna comes to view herself more honestly. Even when not reading, I found myself thinking about just how realistic the story is for today's teens. It brought more focus to questions about life for my teen, with peer pressure, identify, and what her high school environment is like.
Highly recommended as a must-read for teen book clubs and parents, too!
Promise Me Something is meant to be shared and discussed! The author weaves together several themes in a powerful story that will resonate with teens on many levels.
Some readers may be uncomfortable with scenes of parental alcoholism, teen drinking, and discussions around the theme of suicide.
Part coming of age, part friendship, part romance … this realistic fiction novel is rich with themes for teens, young adults, and adults, too.
The author expertly wove several plot lines together, not only creating discussions related to the two main characters, but several pivotal ensemble players, too: Mr. Murhpy, Tim Furgeson, Levi Siegel, and Gretchen Palmer.
This is an exceptional story for talking about friendship and bullying, but also how to identify, approach, and appropriately guide those who may be dealing with personal secrets, whether it is depression, suicide, or bullying to help.
One area left hanging - and maybe intentionally so - is the the line highlighted several times: "Never. Lie. To. Me." What about the A Olive got on her test (that she told Reyna she failed)? or her friendship with Grace? Was Reyna right to lie to her father? All good discussions.
12 and Up
12 and Up
Borrow, at least. This is a powerful book and one that might be re-read or shared among friends.