Audacious, by Gabrielle Prendergast (2013)

Genre: Contemporary
Interest Level: 14-18
AudaciousA move to Alberta (somewhere near Drumheller?) gives Raphaelle and her family the opportunity for a new start with a clean slate. Raphaelle wants to leave her old awkward self behind – the girl who does it all wrong despite her best intentions. She reinvents herself as Ella, who is quiet not mouthy, who wears the right clothes, stays out of trouble, and is at least ignored if not liked by classmates. It goes wrong pretty much immediately. Ella can’t help who she is, but with that comes a sweet, unsophisticated acceptance of everyone else, flaws and all. That includes Samir, a Muslim classmate whose dark eyes and (mostly) kind words attract her instantly. She falls for him hard, and they share a passion for creating powerful art that stands up for what is right. Their love and their art divide both their families and the community, and Ella finds herself caught between what she wishes and what is. Written in powerful verse, the writing is sharp, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny but always intelligent and thought-provoking. Author Prendergast, who lives in Vancouver, has written an award-winner here. With few words and sometimes only letters, she brings these characters to amazing life, and creates a powerful plotline that raises questions about identity, religion, and acceptance. She has nailed the teen voice, and created a character who is bold in the face of great self-doubt. Wish that we could all be so.
More reviews and discussion of this novel: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13628605

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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

One Response to Audacious, by Gabrielle Prendergast (2013)

  1. What a lovely review! Thank you so much!

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