This is the book I’ve been searching for. Aimed at teens, it features a strong female protagonist who has interests and aspirations that range far beyond romance.
Josie Peters is a BMX rider. The novel opens with her finally revealing her newest trick – a back flip. After she shows off the result of her hard work, her boyfriend, a fellow rider, dumps her. This makes Josie sad and angry, but it doesn’t launch her into a breakdown. Instead, it inspires her to reach out to other female riders. Thus begins a summer full of training, competition, unexpected friendships, and, yes, boys.
Josie is a delightful character. She is strong, smart, fiercely independent, and incredibly ambitious. She also jumps to conclusions, second-guesses herself, and winds up in awkward situations. In short, she is a normal human and thus imminently relatable. Her friends are equally multi-faceted, making for a realistic and fascinating read.
Avivi uses her characters to great effect, weaving many different plot threads together to create a complex world that feels thoroughly lived-in. Many of these threads are left open at the novel’s close (Will Lauryn tell her parents about her plans? What will happen between Josie and R.T., the talented but mysterious rider?), and this is refreshing. The story feels open-ended, and you can picture the characters living long after the story’s end.
The important thing is which plotline Avivi chooses to resolve. At the beginning of the book, Josie is a freshly dumped amateur rider who just wants to learn new tricks and compete in a local competition. By the end, she’s figured out what’s important to her, and she has a definite goal of making her sport more inclusive. This is a unique and exciting take on the coming-of-age story.
Shredded is the holy grail of young adult fiction. It features a strong female protagonist who openly confronts sexism as a natural part of the story, and her story arc revolves around personal growth. Plus, there’s lots of action and real drama to appeal to everyone. This book is absolutely perfect.
|Page Count||314 pages|
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