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review: “tangled” March 21, 2010

Posted by Katie in reviews.
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Tangled by Carolyn Mackler.
Harper Teen // Hardcover // 320 pages.
Reviewed from purchased copy.

Four teens, four very different lives. Jena, the girl next door with self-esteem issues; Skye, the beautiful girl with a dark secret; Dakota, the bad boy; and Owen, the geek. Their lives become tangled together after they all inadvertently meet while on vacation. What the teens don’t realize is once they’ve met, their lives will all change as a result.

“Tangled” really surprised me — I expected a soft chick lit romance novel by the cover, but instead got a nicely balanced realistic novel.

Mackler alternates chapters between the four protagonists. At first, this was jarring for me because I had immediately connected with Jena and wanted to read more about her story. After I finished the novel, I did wind up liking the switch. I still wished I had been better prepared for it. (Though, that’s my fault for avoiding summaries and spoilers like the plague!)

Skye, Dakota, and Owen were all fleshed out characters and I did enjoy reading about their struggles. I don’t want to talk about their problems, because some of them are shrouded in mystery in the book, but I also enjoyed the realistic portrayals of these issues.

While I still like Jena the most, I really liked the way that the stories were woven together. These were very real teenagers with different obstacles and issues, blended together to tell one complete story of acceptance and understanding.

This book was a quick, fast read — and I think it was incredibly unrated. I did not see it get as much coverage in the blogosphere and library world as I thought the novel deserved. I would definitely recommend this book to teens and fans of realistic fiction. The book does read a bit like Sarah Dessen and Elizabeth Scott, so if you have fans of those in your library, this is the book for you.

Amazon
SWAN catalog
Carolyn Mackler

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