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Review: Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles

Title: Read Between the Lines
Author: Jo Knowles
Year Published: 2015

Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 329
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2015 Google Reading map)USA

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this from my school library

Summary (from the inside flap of the book):
 Geeky, unpopular Nate suffers a broken finger courtesy of a bully in gym class. The middle one--splinted and bandaged to flip off the world. It won't be the last time that finger is raised in this extraordinary novel from Jo Knowles. Dreamer Claire envisions herself sitting in an artsy cafe, filing a journal with her thoughts, but fate has other plans. One cheerleader dates a closeted basketball star; another questions just how, as a "big girl," she fits in. A group of boys scam clueless drivers for beer money without remorse--or so it seems.

The voices of seemingly ordinary teenagers speak loud and clear of the complex dance that is life in a small town Over the course of a single day, these characters orbit one another in their innocent attempts to understand and be understood.

Review: One day. That's all this book covers. How much can happen in just one day? A lot. And Jo Knowles did a good job of having the various stories connect to one another. I have read only one other Jo Knowles book, Jumping Off Swings, and I must say I liked that one a bit better.

I do like the idea of hearing the same day from the view of many characters so this format worked for me. All the characters attend the same high school and are loosely connected to one another. In each section we get a view of the character's day with dips of them running into other characters. However, their main story is really about them and not the overlap. I need more overlap rather than separate stories. I did like the stories and think each one could have been a larger part of a novel.

I did like the variety of characters and the connecting thread of giving the finger or getting it flipped at the characters by someone else. The characters are realistic, interesting, and have good issues that come out.

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