Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Handcuffs ~ Bethany Griffin review

Delacorte Books for Young Readers
320 Pages
December 9, 2008
Handcuffs aka Perfect Parker Book 1 Review (Book 2 coming tomorrow)

I wanted this book for so, so long...and everyone posting it as part of their 'In My Mailbox' wasn't helping me ;) So, I loved the idea of Bethany Griffin's contest for a chance to win a cop--all I had to do was guess the name of the main character's boyfriend. Sounds easy, right? Except Ms Griffin was sneaky and has that name, oh, you know, nowhere. So, I got it wrong.

She was awesome and sent it to me anyway, though.

Parker Prescott has always been the dependable middle child. The one her parents love. 'Has been' being the key words. Two weeks ago she actually broke up with the boyfriend they all wanted her to break up with.

But then came the afternoon with the handcuffs when everything changed. Now she's no longer Perfect Parker.

That's really as much summary as I can give--and as much as really anyone else gives--but there's much, much more to the story than what that all makes it sound like. I came into the story expecting it to be about a goody-goody girl who had some torrid afternoon (of some sort or another) and then everything went boom. But really, everything was much more complex than that (and I can understand why the summaries are what they are; there's not really any other way to say things).

What isn't in my summary though is that Parker has a reputation-that she does quite a bit of living up to-of being an ice princess. A reputation that's fostered, cultivated and nurtured by Marion Hennessey's blog. Marion who used to be her neighbor; Marion who runs her own TMZ and hates Parker now.

And that's an example of why this book was enjoyable. There were several things (the blog, Parker's brother's ADD, etc) that helped the characters work. It wasn't just that Parker had a brother--her brother was a character--and so was her sister--and best friend--and so on.

I thought that the wayt he different characters and subplots ultimately worked themselves out (or not) in a way that brought everything to a conclusion was a nice way of doing things. It wasn't an A, B, C setup, conflict, resolution but seemed to work out more like life would.

The few things that I didn't like about the book: at the end of some chapters there were little bits that didnt' really seem necessary. It almost seemed as if someone wanted them included in the story but they didn't quite fit anywhere? (Or maybe I just missed how they contributed?) The other thing was that ages were mentioned quite a bit, but-to me at least-it was more distracting sometimes because it didn't always seem like they worked out (ex: one chapter was Parker's sister's birthday party-at the start Parker was 13, at the end she was 12; then they were 4 years apart and 2 grades just detracted from my reading a bit).

I hope Bethany Griffin writes more YA books because I enjoy her perspective and the storyline she thought up here :) (And, by the way, reviewing books written by teachers makes me nervous--and causes me to make more mistakes, too.)

Super thank you to Bethany Griffin for the book :-D

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