on Dec. 12, 2012 :
There's a horrible moment somewhere in your childhood where you realize that everything is NOT going to be okay, and that the choices you make matter, and that the difference isn't just between two things you like but between losing all hope in the universe and learning how to cope.
"Coming of age" books are about learning how to be an adult, how to take responsibility, how to be serious about working for a living, etc.
This is a book about learning how to get past despair, injustice, incomprehensibility - and move, not into adulthood, but into living an authentic life.
A nicely orchestrated book - a lot of themes going on here, a lot of subplots, all of them driving the book forward without being obvious or slow. In parts, the book's almost too realistic--not in gory details but in the horrible, misguided things some of the characters do. It's sad.
But, of course, the author pulls you back from the brink - drops everything into place. "The world is painful. Being a teenager is fraught with danger." And then, "Everyone has find an answer to that. Here are a couple of good ones."
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
on Nov. 21, 2012 :
My (in a super little nutshell) synopsis:
Sade and Jackie are best friends; they’ve grown up in the same town, lived on the same street, and have been best friends for most of their lives. But when Sade feels her friend slowly slipping away, she desperately reaches out with hope to decipher Jackie’s incredibly cryptic behavior. Suddenly, Jackie isn’t coming to school. She’s ‘hung over’ day after day. She’s ditching their regularly scheduled girls’ nights… and that’s just scraping the surface of her odd behavior. And Sade isn’t the only one who’s noticing. The kids at school are talking, but Sade doesn’t want to believe it’s true. But the more she sees, the more she learns, and the more people talk, Sade can’t help but wonder if she’s lost her friend to those little, colorful pills and nighttime raves.
Now, my review:
I love reading across many genres, and it rarely happens that I run across a novel that stands out among the rest. But this one is an exception. “Sade on the Wall” is especially unique (for several reasons).
1. Drama. The drama in this book is unlike anything you’ll find in most young adult novels. Sade and Jackie are dealing with serious (and unfortunately realistic) struggles that threaten their friendship, their safety, and their lives. While the challenges they face are overwhelmingly emotional, there are small glimpses of hope in every page you turn. There’s a wonderful balance to this story—not too much drama, not too little… just enough.
2. Relationships. The relationships in this book are unique—and I’ll refrain from saying much about the dynamic of Sade’s family. It’s something you’ll need to explore (and enjoy) on your own. In the end, it was just refreshing to read a realistic take on the modern family.
3. Support. With every good drama, the protagonist needs incredible support. Sade found the comfort and strength she needed in many characters, but mostly in her brother Corey (my favorite character). It was unclear at the beginning what kind of part Corey would play in this story, but it became increasingly clear (with every page) that he would be the ultimate confidant and friend.
4. Romance. Okay, okay. That’s a bit of a stretch. But there is a little bit of a romantic interest sparking between Sade and a boy in her biology class. Being a dramatic story, I didn’t expect to find this kind of relationship. But, I did. And I’m glad I did. I loved how he brought out the best in Sade with his quirks, charm, and goofy one-liners. There was nothing incredibly special about him, but Sade thought so—and that was enough to make me root for them. In the end, he really steps up and carries Sade through her pain.
5. Friendship. We’ve all been there. We’ve also had those relationships that threaten to emotionally destroy us at any given second. We love our friends, want the best for our friends, but sometimes their decisions weigh too heavily on our conscience. That’s what Jackie was to Sade; a best friend, but a burden. If you had a childhood best friend, you’ll find something about Jackie and Sade’s relationship that reminds you of yourself (and relationships with others).
6. Sade. She’s a character that comes to life right before your eyes. From the first page to the last, Sade is developing. She’s growing. Her loyalty is probably the most admirable thing about her, but it’s also her Achilles heel. What did I love most about Sade? She’s the perfect protagonist. She’s perfect because she’s not perfect. She comes with her own set of faults and problems, and it’s impossible not to root for her.
In the end, I smiled. I laughed. I cried (my poor Kindle was soaked!). This is definitely a book for the young (or the young at heart). It will grab you and touch you on so many levels.
Final note: A quick look at my past reviews on Amazon will reveal that I am big Elizabeth Barone fan. I am hooked on her ‘Sandpaper Fidelity’ series, so when I read that she was releasing “Sade”, I was anxious to get my hands on it. Though I am a loyal fan, this was an honest, unsolicited, and unbiased review. This review is nothing but my honest, heart-felt opinion. Well done, Liz. “Sade” will stay with me forever.
(reviewed the day of purchase)