caren reads.

Thousand Words

Thousand Words - Jennifer Brown This was a well written, thought provoking book that I would recommend to any woman who's either a parent, friend, aunt, uncle--you get the idea--to a young girl in high school, or about to get there. As Jennifer Brown describes in her parting notes: it's relevant. This book is about something that back in my day, couldn't have happened because we didn't have cell phones and cameras and texting. We had pagers, and the dirtiest we could do with that was an endless page of 69's. In today's world, though, we have smart phones with easy everything, and young girls who are still impressionable. Young girls who fall victim to peer pressure when someone suggests they text their boyfriend a picture of themselves nude.That's exactly what happens to Ashleigh Maynard.After a night of partying, her friends encourage her to send a nude photo to her senior boyfriend to remind him what he'll be missing when he's off to college in the fall.And Ashleigh never expects the photo to ruin her life, but sadly, it does.After a nasty breakup, her boyfriend does the unthinkable and shares the photo with his baseball buddies, who still go to school with Ashleigh, and it isn't long before the picture goes viral. Soon the principal is involved, then the superintendent (who also happens to be Ashleigh's dad)...and finally, the police. Did you know sending photos like that is considered distributing child pornography? Maybe because I don't have children, I never even thought about that possibility, but it's true. And the consequences can be pretty serious. For Ashleigh it means sixty hours of community service, for her boyfriend, however, it could mean jail time and a lifetime of being a registered sex offender.You can see as the book progresses, flopping between current time and the past, how Ashleigh's grown and learned from the mistake she made. In the beginning she's beaten down, afraid to leave home because she knows everyone has seen her naked. But in the current timeline, she's a different person. She's learning the hard lesson that everyone has to learn: everybody makes mistakes. It's what you do after that defines you, not the mistake itself. I thought it was really motivating to read how much she'd grown and changed from a young girl who was full of drama, into a young woman with a good head on her shoulders. Which is exactly why I said anyone who knows a pre-teen or teenage girl should recommend this book to them, or their parents. It was a great read, even for someone like me who doesn't have children.Last little note is that I loved Mack. And while I know this isn't a romance, and shouldn't have been, I was so tickled with the subtle friendship between he and Ashleigh that I wanted more of it, even though it was pretty perfect without.

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