Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Book Review: Thirteen by Shannon Peel

By Shannon Peel
Publisher: Carennedy Solutions
Published: April 27, 2013

Amazon Synopsis:

Jack, a rebellious thirteen year old boy, just wants to hang out with his new high school friends, but his mom’s curfew is restricting his freedom. When foreign soldiers invade his hometown, cutting off the power, communications, and any chance of escape, Jack and his mom have to figure out how to survive. With no way to contact his father, they have no idea if he is safe or one of the people disappearing from their homes. All Jack wants is to get his dad back, unfortunately, armed soldiers are in the way. 

Becoming a teenager is a confusing time filled with personal battles and outside ones, Jack’s life is 
no different. As he enters high school he reinvents himself to be ‘cool’, until survival becomes a priority, then he is forced to become who he really is. To protect his mom, Jack organizes a group of kids to spread ideas and figure out what is going on. 

Thirteen is a roller coaster of twists and turns. It is a story of a boy figuring out who he is and redefining his relationship with his mother, while he and his friends work together gathering information on the soldiers. 

Book Links

My Thoughts:

Jack is a typical thirteen-year-old boy who is feeling the need to express his own independence. He finds his mom’s rules restrictive and confining and starts rebelling against them by breaking his curfew and being openly rebellious towards her. Then the unthinkable happens. Foreign soldiers invade their hometown.

Thirteen takes place in Canada near the Canadian border. The foreign soldiers have taken over the entire Lower Mainland all the way to the Canadian/US border. Water, power and all communications have been cut off. Food has been rationed to a barely survivable amount.

Thirteen does exactly what the author was hoping to do, which was to “get Canadians to feel the plight of children in war”. Reading about the issues and difficulties that Jack and his friends had to deal with, the fear of family and friends suddenly disappearing possibly never to be seen again in our own country, certainly makes the plight of those facing similar situations in other countries much easier to relate to.

I found Thirteen to be fast-paced with a good plot. The teen-aged characters were also very realistic. I thought that Jack’s reactions to his mom’s “babying” of him and his feelings when he is grounded are quite common at that age.  And while his dad has a live-in girlfriend, the anger Jack feels towards his mother Sydney when she develops an interest in someone is not uncommon either.

I also liked that Sydney and Jack are able to start to see each other differently because of these new experiences. Jack realizes his mom is smart and is not trying to make his life miserable for the fun of it and Sydney is learning to let go and trust Jack to be a man.

I think Thirteen is a book every teen and his parent should consider reading. I gave this book 4 stars. I’m looking forward to the sequel!

Thank you to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

When Shannon Peel started writing Thirteen, her son was thirteen and was frustrated with the amount of freedom and independence he wanted. She barely saw the kid and when she did it was because he was grounded for one thing or another.

 From the frustration of parenting a thirteen year old boy and the desire to put
Canadians in the shoes of children suffering from war, came Thirteen. 

So, she asked the question, 'how to get Canadians to feel the plight of children in war?' The answer: Bring the war to their world in a story they could relate to.

Shannon L. Peel is a Canadian author living on the west coast.

Author Links
Goodreads  *  Google+   *  Smashwords  *  Twitter
Website   *  Author Website  (under construction)

No comments :

Post a Comment