Genre: Fiction

Notes:21/50

Review: This review won’t be very long, so..sorrynotsorry. This book is fine.  Shawn Goodman obviously cares deeply about the subject of juvenile detention and the vicious cycle these young girls are trying to break.  His bio in the back of the book mentions that he works as a counselor in these institutions and has based the book off of a lot of things he’s seen – from the people who genuinely want to help to the corrupt people in the system who live to break these girls.

The book sparks a little of my idealist spirit (swore I wanted to help people, but haven’t found the right niche yet.  I applied to Peace Corps and chickened out without submitting the application 3 times and get rejected from Teach For America), and it’s a very quick read.  I found it in the YA section when I was browsing my local library and picked it up on a whim.

But to be honest, this trope is tired.  It has been done with The Blind Side.  Touches on it in The Help.  Books in this vein don’t start of this way, but the end of seeming like “benevolent white person helps disadvantaged black person.” I mean, sometimes it is the nature of the situation.  Unfortunately, a lot of the youths in detention centers are disproportionately African American while most of the counselors and administrators are white.   What are you supposed to do?  Not help them?  Obviously not.  But books like these saturate the market so the power Goodman is going for and the plea that youths in juvenile detention centers deserve more falls on deaf ears.  We’ve heard it before.  We’ve seen it before.  It’s old.

Is it just me?  What does anyone else think?

Bottom Line: Not really worth reading. Unless, like me, you’re bored and have nothing else to read!

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