Book Review: Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown

Book: Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown

Published May 2013 by Little, Brown Books For Young Readers|284 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

Ashleigh’s boyfriend, Kaleb, is about to leave for college, and Ashleigh is worried that he’ll forget about her while he’s away. So at a legendary end-of-summer pool party, Ashleigh’s friends suggest she text him a picture of herself — sans swimsuit — to take with him. Before she can talk herself out of it, Ashleigh strides off to the bathroom, snaps a photo in the full-length mirror, and hits “send.”

But when Kaleb and Ashleigh go through a bad breakup, Kaleb takes revenge by forwarding the text to his baseball team. Soon the photo has gone viral, attracting the attention of the school board, the local police, and the media. As her friends and family try to distance themselves from the scandal, Ashleigh feels completely alone — until she meets Mack while serving her court-ordered community service. Not only does Mack offer a fresh chance at friendship, but he’s the one person in town who received the text of Ashleigh’s photo — and didn’t look. 

Acclaimed author Jennifer Brown brings readers a gripping novel about honesty and betrayal, redemption and friendship, attraction and integrity, as Ashleigh finds that while a picture may be worth a thousand words . . . it doesn’t always tell the whole story. 

I wanted to love this book, I really did.  I’ve read a few of her books, but none has lived up to the expectations that Hate List set when I read it years ago.

I do like that Brown tackles serious topics- everything from school shootings to abusive relationships to sexting.  I appreciate what Brown is trying to do, and you see how much backlash there is for what Ashleigh did.  I really came to hate Kaleb, and how he wasn’t really sorry for what he did.  At least, he didn’t seem truly sorry, and only seemed to care because of how it might affect his future.  You see the consequences of one action (for both of them), and it seems like Ashleigh bears the brunt of it, which is unfair.

She wants to fit in, and she really changes a lot.  I didn’t particularly care about past Ashley (she seemed boring and whiny, in my opinion) but present Ashley is a lot more interesting.  I’m not sure why, but the jumping around in time didn’t particularly work for me, and I felt more disconnected from it than I thought I would.  It’s like, I like the concept of her books, and on the surface, they seem like books I’d love, but in reality, I’m not as interested in them as I think I’m going to be.

That being said, I think her books are worth checking out if you like books that deal with issues teens night be dealing with today.  While I didn’t feel anything during (or after) reading this book, I can see why people really like it.  I just wish it were for me.

2 stars.  Thousand Words wasn’t for me, but I can see why people like it.  I wish it had something more, but I can’t really identify what was missing.

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