June 1, 2013

Review of Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown



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.

add to goodreadsThousand Words by Jennifer Brown
Publication Date:  May 21, 2013
Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Available for Purchase:

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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

MaryAnn NewTechnology is a beautiful thing, and yet with technology comes many a dangerous thing *Insert Yoda voice here*.  It’s only too real how exploitation via email is happening everywhere.  It’s all over the news and newspapers.  How one little mistake with a cellphone and its camera can cause so much pain and havoc.  Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown explores how one little mistake has dire consequences and not only affects the victim, but to those around them.

Ashleigh Maynard was happy.  And why shouldn’t she be?  She had an amazing boyfriend, a most awesome best friend, and a wonderful relationship with her parents.  But once the summer winds down, her boyfriend, Kaleb, will be off to college, and she’ll be left behind to continue a couple more years of high school.  Ashleigh was hoping to spend more time with Kaleb since their time together is slowly slipping away.  But it seems Kaleb wants to spend more time with his buds, rather than with Ashleigh…and she’s not exactly very happy about that.

After a night of drinking at her best friend, Vonnie’s house, Ash’s friends convince her to take a nude picture of herself and send it off to Kaleb…to remind him of what he’s missing.  More acting less thinking, Ashleigh does just that.  And it seems to do the trick…that is…until things go sour between her and Kaleb.  And what started out as a way of “payback”, turned out to be something that changes lives…not only Ash and Kaleb’s, but Ash’s parents, and the lives of other students in the school.

Ash goes through much bullying at school and online.  Everywhere she turns, she see’s judgment in everyone’s eyes.  People saying things that are far from true and are out to make Ash’s life a living hell.  All because of One.Small.Mistake.  After being forced by the courts to serve 60 hours of community service, Ash finds friendship in someone she didn’t expect to…in a quiet loner named Mack.  But everyone serving community service is there for a reason…and some reasons really make you think of just how bad your situation is compared to theirs.

I read this book in one sitting.  I could not put this one down, no matter how hard I tried.  The topic of “sexting” is one that is huge in our technologically advanced world.  We’ve seen how similar incidents such as the one in Thousand Words have happened all over the world.  We’ve also seen just how terrible the end result can be for the victim of such a thing.  Seeing just how cruel people can be…with the words they use, and the phrases they tag.  By not listening to the other side of the story, but rather just accepting what is seen in their texts or emails.  Many have ended tragically, and Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown brings this subject to such a reality.

This book shows us what the victim, Ashleigh Maynard, goes through after her nude picture goes viral.  It shows the reader the thoughts that are going through her constantly…the paranoia she has when out in public.  Author, Jennifer Brown does a fantastic job bringing the voice of Ashleigh to life.  There was so much raw emotion throughout this entire read, which is probably why I couldn’t put it down.  My heart went out to this poor girl who had to endure all the bullying and loss of friends.  To witness everything to be taken away from her.  To see her at her lowest, and to watch and see how she can find the light at the end of the tunnel.

I encourage readers everywhere to read this book, and to listen to the powerful message which can be found in these pages.  I would love to see this book in libraries everywhere, even for a piece of literature that individuals can read should they find themselves in a similar situation.  I recommend this book to fans of contemporary reads, and for anyone who wants to experience a book that will completely open your eyes to world of sexting and cyberbullying and to witness the strength that a teenage girl can have after one life changing mistake.


About the Author:


Two-time winner of the Erma Bombeck Global Humor Award (2005 & 2006), Jennifer’s weekly humor column appeared in The Kansas City Star for over four years, until she gave it up to be a full-time young adult novelist.

Jennifer’s debut novel, HATE LIST (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009) received three starred reviews and was selected as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a VOYA “Perfect Ten,” and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. HATE LIST also won the Michigan Library Association’s Thumbs Up! Award, the Louisiana Teen Readers Choice award, the 2012 Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award, was an honorable mention for the 2011 Arkansas Teen Book Award, is a YALSA 2012 Popular Paperback, received spots on the Texas Library Association’s Taysha’s high school reading list as well as the Missouri Library Association’s Missouri Gateway Awards list, and has been chosen to represent the state of Missouri in the 2012 National Book Festival in Washington, DC. Jennifer’s second novel, BITTER END, (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011) received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and VOYA and is listed on the YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults list and is a 2012 Taysha’s high school reading list pick as well.

Jennifer writes and lives in the Kansas City, Missouri area, with her husband and three children.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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