Tuesday, November 15, 2016

CONSENT by Nancy Ohlin.  New York: Simon Pulse, 2015.  269p. ISBN: 978-1442464902 hc. $17.99       Gr. 9-12      YA FIC

This challenging tale scores points for exposure, diversity, and open-mindedness.  Bea struggles with family and friend relationships, and has fallen in love with her teacher, who reciprocates her feelings.  As an added complication to their relationship, Bea is not yet an adult.  Under-aged consent becomes the major theme and struggle in Bea's tale.  Ohlin introduces these layering struggles with relationships from the voice of an unreliable narrator: an authentic teenager.  Throughout, Bea's artistic connection to her music brings light amid the struggle.  In the end, some aspects are smoothed over, and the story prefers romance over preaching a lesson, which leaves it to readers to decide for themselves about the conflicts and ultimate resolution.  This is a good option if you are looking for a safe experience to expose youth to the ideas and conflicts surrounding consent, relationships, and how to turn experiences, even negative ones, into stepping stones as they move into the adult world.
Chelsea Paige, Young Adult Specialist, Dickinson County Library, Iron Mountain, MI

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