Genres: Childrens, Contemporary
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: August 9th 2016
1 OUT OF 5 STARS
Disclaimer: A free copy of this book was received through LibraryThing Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest review.
Christine Gouda’s last year of elementary school is a roller coaster ride. It starts with her trying to shake an old nickname, Tink, and follows her as she struggles with romance, popularity, and her new body.
Young covers a lot of topics in this novel but in a way that isn’t quite appropriate for very young readers or interesting for older readers. Quite a bit of the book focuses on romance and sex with one of the girl’s in Tink’s class being a “slut”. The voice used in the novel is also uncomfortable – it doesn’t feel like a twelve-year-old. Tink’s thoughts feel much older than she is and this is beside the fact that Tink and her friends are just dull in general.
The biggest issue with this book was the awkward writing. The dialogue felt stilted, characters would suddenly be in another location without ever arriving there and, frankly, it was difficult to follow. The layout of the chapters is a part of this, each chapter covers a large part of a year and the time skips are not well written. I had trouble keeping track of what day it was and where Tink was even reading this as an adult.
The setting is also strange, I can’t quite pin down a time period. The music mentioned is all the adults’ favourites so it’s rightly a little dated. However, there are iPods but no laptops or phones or social media. It doesn’t evoke the feeling of any era and just feels odd and out of place in any time.
Despite taking place over a whole year Tink’s life is fairly mundane. The biggest plot points still feel slow. The characters don’t really draw any interest and are all pretty flat. Mean girls, cute boys, even Tink herself barely has any personality.
The crux is that the book lacks clear writing making it difficult to follow narratively and is written in a way that doesn’t really give it any appropriate target audience.