Friday, January 4, 2013

SUNNY: BOOK REVIEW - "Hooked" by LIz Fichera

When Native American Fredericka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done.

But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred.

But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile...


I liked it, but I really wanted to like it more!  I didn't because, though a sweet story, it is a little too familiar.  As a teen romance, Hooked channels the movie Pretty In Pink:  Girl from the other side of the tracks falling in love with the boy on the golden trail and makes him a better person.  Standing in the way is Ryan's bestfriend, Seth, the bully, bigot, and maintainer of the status quo.  I expected James Spader to come off the pages and smirk at me.  

However, I do realize that there are probably at least two generations of kids who have not had the pleasure of watching Pretty In Pink, so for them, I recommend this for it is a sweet story.  

What is excellent about this book is LIz Fichera's portrayal of the type of subtle bias experienced by young adults of color.  The type of discrimination and prejudice faced today is not the over-the-top racism.  Most people know better than to use racial slurs or promote hatred.  And for most people, this kind of vitriol is easily dismissed as extremism.  What is more problematic is the little indignities experienced daily - the assumptions, the stereotypes, the name-calling like "Pocahantes." I felt Fred's frustration and anger at the injustice.  It is disappointing at first that Ryan chooses to be a bystander rather than an ally, but it's nice to see him come through in the end. 

This is not necessarily a new story, but still, it is done well and gives insight into social issues. 

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