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Review: Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown

Title: Thousand Words
Author: Jennifer Brown
Year Published: 2013

Genre: YA Fiction
Pages: 272
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2013 Google Reading map): USA

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Ashleigh's boyfriend, Kaleb, is about to leave for college. So at a legendary end-of-summer pool party, Ashleigh's friends suggest that she text him a picture of herself--sans swimsuit--to take with him. Before she can change her mind, Ashleigh has snapped a photo and hit "send."

But when Kaleb and Ashleigh go through a bad break up, Kaleb forwards 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. In the midst of the scandal, Ashleigh feels completely alone--until she meets Mack at 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.

Review: This book is so important, I hope lots of students read it! There is a lot of sexting out there and I don't think people, students and adults alike, know what the laws are about it. Who knew that sending a photo of oneself to someone else via text is distributing child pornography if you are under 18 years old!

Jennifer Brown tackles really important issues in her books. In Hate List she looked at the aftermath of a school shooting and now she is covering sexting, child pornography, friendship, and how we allow others to define us. This last one comes at the end of the book, but is so well written. I want all teens to read it!

Brown has created characters that are real and believable. Ashleigh is a good student who mostly behaves herself. However, an afternoon of drinking leads her to do something she shouldn't do. It's a mistake that leads to disastrous events. Ashleigh's feelings of embarrassment and humiliation are well written as are the interactions with her friends who are embarrassed by association. I like to think that the reactions of people to Ashleigh's photos are exaggerated, but maybe they aren't. That made me really sad.

This book will make readers think, cringe, sad, and angry, but it is SO worth reading!

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