Monday, December 23, 2013

Book Review - Gray Zone


Gray Zone

By: Veronica R. Tabares
Publisher: Sun Break Publishing
Publication Date: January 2014
ISBN: 978-1-60916-007-4
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: December 23, 2013

We live in the technological age of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter...the entire realm of the World Wide Web has basically taken over the lives of everyone. Actual conversations have turned into point and click or text conversations but unfortunately, the largest negative is the fact that anyone, anywhere can now be bullied, threatened and frightened beyond belief based simply on a video posting, or a vindictive nature.

Here we have an in-depth, kind, generous and realistic look at the teenage world today. Autumn is a young girl who likes her school, yet loves her best friend. Admittedly she’s not one of the ‘higher echelon’ that are still shown as the cheerleaders and the QB’s who never seem to have any negativity thrown at them as they walk the hallowed halls. Autumn has been the victim of a cyber-prank. But this is a cyber-prank that, although it perhaps was supposed to be something small at the beginning, has turned into a source of danger that has Autumn’s parents pulling her out of school and placing her in another.

Leaving behind her best friend, Sophie Rose, Autumn is placed in a new situation that makes her feel even more alone. However, taking on a bully has Autumn changing her tune and no longer backing down. Instead, she stands up and gives it right back, allowing herself to feel pride and self-respect. But...can pride go too far?

Sophie Rose has the bad karma shifted onto her shoulders with her friend’s departure. When Autumn leaves, Sophie Rose has a difficult time and ends up transferring to the new school as well. She’s elated about this because she can finally be back with her pal, however Autumn is having a hard time forgiving her friend for a secret she’s uncovered. The girls walk down two completely different paths in the new school. Whereas Autumn is still the shy one, but learning how to stand up for herself; the usually outgoing Sophie Rose runs directly up against bullies of her own.

What Autumn used to feel that Sophie Rose did not understand is now what she, herself is facing. And without these two friends standing side by side, the pain, anger and heartbreak may just pull them apart forever.

There is a great deal to be said for this book. Cyber-bullying has been a topic of conversation and debate for years now, with tragedy being one of the results for many young, talented, but frightened and exhausted teens. The story of Autumn and Sophie Rose is poignant, to say the least. And the writer has done a brilliant job of creating a story that is loving, educational and sorely needed.
Quill says: An excellent read for both young adults and adults.

For more information on Gray Zone, please visit the author's website: www.veronicatabares.com