A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Single father is a strong role model. The new stepmother is caring and understanding.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Young teens fantasizing about kissing boys; discussion of the size of breasts on girls; father and new girlfriend have sex; father and new wife caught by teen in shower together.
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Just words like "boobs" and "crap" typical in teen dialogue. Friend uses profanity, but it's "bleeped."
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Products & Purchases
Mention of stores: Gap, Kmart.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens mention smoking cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this book is about a 13-year-old girl facing challenges and trying to fit in. There is discussion of stuffing bras, belly-button rings, crushes and kissing boys, body changes or lack thereof, annoying siblings, parents who don't "get it," and vicious popular kids. Evyn Linney is a likeable character, funny, sassy, and, at times, sad; there are passages when she talks to her dead mother and desperately wants her comfort, and she steals money and tries to run away. Also, there are adults, specifically her father and girlfriend/new wife, who have sex and get pregnant.
Is It Any Good?
BOUNCE, the third novel by Natasha Friend, a former middle school teacher and camp director, delivers another relatable, likeable, struggling character for young teens, Evyn Linney. This is a quick, satisfying read by a popular author who really understands the age. Teens who liked Friend's other books will take to it immediately.
But unlike Perfect, where the main character's battle with bulimia can be tough stuff for young readers, here Evyn's support system -- her dad and her new mom -- are strong models who help keep Evyn grounded. It's what allows Evyn to get back to more typical teen problems like peer pressure, romantic attractions, and body changes (or lack thereof). And it's what tells you that Evyn's life turned upside down will right itself again.
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