Friday, February 19, 2010

Mini Review of Tangled

Tangled by Carolyn Mackler
Pages: 320
Pub. Date: December 29, 2009
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Goodreads says, "Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen are all at Paradise—the resort in the Caribbean, that is—for different reasons, but in Paradise their lives become tangled together in ways none of them can predict. Over the course of four months, through four voices and four stories, what happened in Paradise will change them all.  In this extraordinary novel, the Printz Honor–winning author brings us her most accomplished work yet. Tangled is a story of the secrets we keep, the risks we take, and the things we do for love."

This novel is told from four different points of view and Carolyn Mackler does this successfully.  Initially, I was worried about this as sometimes it can come across disjointed and confusing, but Mackler is a brilliant author.  She shares with us four very different character's stories told in four months, yet somehow all of these characters' lives are intertwined.  There's Jena, the insecure girl, who came across as extremely believable. I adored this character. She made me laugh out loud. I know a lot of my 8th grade students would really relate to her. Skye, on the other hand, is a pretentious snob; she's the girl we love to hate.  She should audition for a role on Gossip Girl.  Dakota is a typical bad boy that has underlying issues due to a devastating past event in his life.  Lastly, there's Owen.  He's a shy computer geek that is more comfortable interacting with people virtually than in person.  All four character's stories are tangled and layered expertly.  Mackler truly captures teen angst and drama.   I really like how she shows teenagers as being vulnerable and insecure even if they project an entirely different image.  Fans of Carolyn Mackler won't be disappointed by this entertaining novel.

You may be asking yourself why I gave it 2.5 out of 5 stars.  I would have given it three out of 5 stars, but I felt Mackler's story may be too edgy for my seventh grade students. Even though the novel says its target audience is 7th grade and up, I felt that it would be more appropriate for mature 8th graders and high schoolers.  Mackler uses a lot of curse words and refers to many sexual topics.   While I personally don't mind this, I'm not sure it would be a good fit for my 7th grade students.  I know that realistic fiction can cover many cutting-edge situations that teenagers may encounter, but I feel that Mackler was pressing the boundaries.  Sarah Dessen, one of my favorite authors, covers the same social situations, but without it being so extremely gritty and "in your face."  Again, it personally doesn't bother me, but I can't say I will showcasing this book in my classroom library.  

Buy It Here:

Watch Author Interview:

*ARC won through Elizabeth Scott's contest. 
A big thank you to the fabulous author!


  1. Good to know the reader level. Sometimes even if a book is good, it isn't appropriate for everyone. I think I will keep my eye out for it for me, but not for my 7th grade friend. Her mom would not like it for her.

  2. Hadn't heard of this one, your the first review I've read of it...thanks! :)

    I just gave you an award at my blog :


  3. Thanks for the comments, Bekah and Shantal! And Shantal- thank you so much for the award!!


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