Here's my review for Shrinking Violet, a YA novel from the secular market.
Book Cover and Synopsis:
As someone who's been labeled "shy" countless times, I'm always drawn to stories that feature shy or introverted characters. After reading the back cover of this one, I was anxious to see what the contents held and I quickly snapped it up.
I found Teresa to be a likeable heroine, so it's easy to root for her to succeed. The portrayal
of her shyness is well done and the situations it creates for her are very
authentic, sometimes painfully so. As for Teresa's family life, it left me feeling somewhat sad and often times shocked. Her mother regularly belittles her, everything from her appearance to her accomplishments. I can't say Teresa was always in the right, but more often than not she did exhibit more maturity than her mother. It's a somber situation, but Teresa does an admirable--though not perfect--job of coping with it.
The radio station setting is unique and quite engaging. It sort of gives you a glimpse of how radio stations work, and what goes on behind the music and voices that fill the airwaves. I really enjoyed the write-a-song contest and the part Teresa plays in
it; the climax of the contest is written so vividly that it
took no effect at all to "see" the whole scenario play out in my mind. Unfortunately, Teresa's mentor at the station is a sleazy ladies' man who is constantly doing and saying inappropriate things. This was my number one regret with the story, as I found it crude and completely unnecessary.
Despite a few flaws, this is a pretty fun story. Even though I'm older (mid 20's) than the target audience, I still found it
enjoyable. Ultimately, I liked the story well enough that I decided to
check out the Disney movie adaption, which is titled "Radio Rebel". (The
movie is wildly different, but I still found it entertaining.) I would
recommend this book for older teens, especially those who have shy
tendencies or those who have an interest in radio.
My Rating: 4 stars
instance of sh*t, and lesser crude words (h*ll, d*mn, etc) are mildly
sprinkled through-out. God's name is misused several times per chapter.
Teresa doesn't know who her father is, and her mother admits she doesn't
either, saying she was "young and stupid". Teresa's mentor at the radio
station is a sleazy ladies' man, and often makes inappropriate
comments. It's briefly mentioned that one of the minor characters is
gay. Teresa is wrongly called (several times) a "lesbo" by her
archenemy at school. There are several (4 or 5, maybe?) crude
comments/thoughts about female and male anatomy.