Book Review: Canary by Rachele Alpine

Book: Canary by Rachele Alpine

Published August 2013 by Medallion Press|400 pages

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

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

Staying quiet will destroy her, but speaking up will destroy everyone.

Kate Franklin’s life changes for the better when her dad lands a job at Beacon Prep, an elite private school with one of the best basketball teams in the state. She begins to date a player on the team and quickly gets caught up in a world of idolatry and entitlement, learning that there are perks to being an athlete. 

But those perks also come with a price. Another player takes his power too far and Kate is assaulted at a party. Although she knows she should speak out, her dad’s vehemently against it and so, like a canary sent into a mine to test toxicity levels and protect miners, Kate alone breathes the poisonous secrets to protect her dad and the team. The world that Kate was once welcomed into is now her worst enemy, and she must decide whether to stay silent or expose the corruption, destroying her father’s career and bringing down a town’s heroes.

Canary is told in a mix of prose and verse.

I really liked Canary!  I wasn’t sure about it at first, especially since it took quite a while to get to get going.  I didn’t mind, since you really did need to get thrown into Kate’s world and what the school was like.

What’s sad is that I wasn’t surprised by Kate’s story or that people were so horrible to her.  I was sad and angry at her dad for checking out after her mom died, and for placing sports and his team ahead of Kate ad her brother.  I was angry that the team and the championship was more important than what happened to his daughter.  And while he was eventually there for her, I was angry at him for not having an immediate reaction to it.  I was angry that it took so long for him to go to the police station with her and that he didn’t want her to say anything about it.

I wasn’t surprised by anything that happened, but I really liked Kate.  You see her get caught up in the world at Beacon, and how quickly things change once word spreads about what happened to her.  I also liked her blog posts, and while there is an actual website listed, I never actually checked to see if it went somewhere.  It would be cool if it did but Canary has since been returned to the library and I can’t remember what the website.  I still liked reading it, and how much writing seemed to help her.

I will say that for a book that centers around the rape of a teen girl, it takes a really long time to actually get to that point, and we didn’t get a lot of what happened after.  We get some, but it didn’t feel like enough time to completely resolve things.  Not that things have to be resolved, of course, but I felt like more time was given to life before than life after.  It should have happened a lot earlier in the book, and I really thought it happened too late in the book- there was too much build-up and not a lot of resolution.

4 stars.  I really liked Canary, especially the blog posts but I thought that it took too long to build up to the main premise of the book.

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