- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1462.0 KB
- Print Length: 202 pages
- Publisher: S & H Publishing (13 Nov. 2013)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B008DME8PA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,443,511 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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You Can't Shatter Me Kindle Edition
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Carly and Dylan are now targeted by this bully, a very angry young man named Justin. The story deals with the beginnings of a relationship and how the two finally end up dealing with this bully in unexpected ways along with empowering a few other people.
Newland used a lot of imagery - in the form of very fantastical imagination on the part of the characters. The things they imagined - reminded me of a film with .... Well, I could totally picture this as a short movie, with their imaginings shown in animation. While at first I was a bit confused (being a reader of mostly urban fantasy or fantasy I thought at first these imaginings were really going on - maybe they were) I soon came to believe that the kids were using their very strong imagery to cope and come to decisions.
But not only is the bully cast as a bully - his own demons are shown. The kid not only has a drunk dad, but deals with abuse as well, causing him to be angry and pass it on. But then, usually a bully is someone who is so angry at their circumstances that they "pass it on" to others.
The narration was interesting- uniquely done. The kids sounded like kids when they spoke to each other. The bullying situations are completely believable. And I enjoyed Carly's unique way of disarming Justin, though I wonder how well that would work with some of the most shut off predators. Anyway, it's hopeful that some young people will read more of these type of novels and take heart that there are solutions that don't rely on violence. Sometimes it IS as simple as showing a confidence even if you don't feel confident. Fake it until you make it.
It would be great if books like this were made required reading in schools.
The way the story is written, with a strong magic realism aspect to it and emphatic underlying messages on morality: love, forgiveness, compassion and understanding, are a real treat, showing the force of faith in oneself and in others who may appear to be beyond redemption.
The writing is excellent, the dialogue natural, the settings totally appropriate for a story aimed at high school children. The thrust of the book is clear, the characters engaging and the story has a strong structure. It is exactly the sort of story schools should use to teach about the various aspects of bullying; how not only the victim but the bully can be helped and how it is so very important to look below the surface for the bully's motivation.
Overall, a charming story about love and redemption that will appeal to more perceptive children of high school age and could be used to teach those somewhat less perceptive.
But the story also operates at a magical realism level, where the kids "write the story of their own lives", casting themselves as super-hero and -heroine. Faced with unpleasant or dangerous situations, they find strength and special powers within that enable them to handle anger, fear & negativity.
All this might sound a little worthy, but Newland doesn't moralise. The story's wacky fantasy elements get her message across with a light, allegorical touch and plenty of wry humour. (As I was reading, I was reminded of the children's classic, THE PHANTOM TOLBOOTH - another book that demonstrates philosphising can be fun.)
I hope this book will be widely read and discussed in high schools. It tackles the causes and consequences of bullying and presents - in a way that young people will readily understand - the transformative power of compassion and how it can break a vicious cycle of violence. Newland quotes Martin Luther King: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." A very big message, but this short, ambitious novel shows two ordinary youngsters embracing that light and defeating the power of darkness. The result is both an entertaining and uplifting read, one that I'm sure would help any child who's having to deal with being bullied.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
With Carly writing her life's script, becoming a superhero is her dream....the magic and reality collide throughout this reasonably short story, with terror being a solid part of reality....with Dylan becoming a part of Carly's life, the sweetness of first love comes across with all the nervousness that we remember. Dylan is a karate student, and wants to protect Carly....he's also been called a nerd, more times than he can remember.
With help from Carly's Aunt Anne and Uncle Doug, more magic transpires... there are many aspects to this story, bullying being the main one...but there are more, with love and sweetness, magic and dreams all making a play....
I can highly recommend this story by Tahlia Newland.
Read from February 09 to 11, 2013 -- I own a copy, read count: 1
I tossed up between a 3 and 4 star rating for this one. I went with a 4 as you can see. The reason I wasn't sure was because I felt that the imagery and the fantasy aspect seemed a little too prominent within the story.
Hold up, I'm getting ahead of myself here.
Tahlia has a very strong story here, the characters are realistic, honest and believable. Their reactions are true to being a teenager and the situations they find themselves in is a realistic representation of what a teenager might go through at school. It's important these days to teach children about bullying and how to deal with it.
An indie book to rival the finished products of the big six, Tahlia should be very proud of the highly glossy polish this book has. If all indie authors could produce this standard of work, the readers of today would be in for a treat!
Now, back onto the story, while there were cliche moments, it didn't disrupt the storyline. In fact I think some of them helped to solidify the moment in the story and show character growth and development.
Where I took a step back from the story was with the imaginary happenings of the characters, the strange cut scenes that they used to help make important discoveries and growth. They seemed a little too 'young' for the story to me. It could be that I'm just not the intended target audience of You Can't Shatter Me, and as I believe that is the case I overlooked that and bumped up the rating.
This book would be a great one to share with the young adult in your life, be they a son, daughter, niece or nephew. It highlights the bravery required to overcome bullying, but it also teaches them other valuable lessons about self worth and being kind to others. It should be compulsory reading for all Primary and High school kids today.
**Note: I was provided an electronic version of the book in return for an honest review**
I especially loved the ending where they encouraged others to deal with their bullies (or self esteem issues). Kinda cute when Izzy began to grow as well. This book was written from an English school (girl/boy) point of view.. and it was quite humorous in unexpected places. It was a refreshing change from angst ridden romance.
I enjoyed reading it and I would encourage others to read it as well.