Review: Tangled by Carolyn Mackler

From Goodreads: 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.

It’s not very often that something comes along here at bookalicio.us that denotes a five star rating. However Carolyn Mackler has wowed me with her latest release from HarperTeen. Tangled is an amazing coming of age story following not one but four awesome personalities on their journey.

The book is broken up into four parts and each part was heartbreaking, funny, and relate-able. It was so easy to slip into the mood of each part and at the end of each part you are hungry for more. The characters had so much depth a book could be devoted to each of the characters.

You start with Jena, a ‘luscious’ if not a bit overweight Jewish girl from upstate New York who has a hard time realizing she is beautiful because she is constantly comparing herself to other girls. We follow Jena on vacation where she meets Dakota who turned out to be a total pain in the jock, and treated her horribly. What I really liked about Jena is that she had the balls to figure out it wasn’t her. She was worth more. I applaud you Jena!

We move on to Dakota whose girlfriend died in a car accident while cheating on him with another guy. We follow his pain and how juvenile he is in dealing with his loss. We get to watch him grow up in a family that isn’t all about the support. He learns to find his own way and his journey is mind-blowing.

Then it is on to Skye who is the epitome of spoiled NYC socialites. She has it all, cool mom, lots of money, acting gigs lined up, an agent. She has never thought about her Dad and how he died. She accepted her Mother’s story. As she finds out the truth she begins to question if she is in fact just like the man who she never new and makes horrible choices.

We finish the book with Owen who had me laughing out loud. Dakota’s brother who lives with their Mother he is outlandishly funny and has a good sense of self. He knows and accepts his limitations. He blogs, he is a computer geek. His Mom sends him to this weekend camp to learn how to make friends in real life. He ditches and goes to see Jena at her internship in NYC.

An amazing book, a thoroughly fun and exciting romp through the teen-age mind. I applaud Carolyn Mackler and if you haven’t read one of her books you probably should. I know I am picking up the awesomely titled The Earth My Butt and Other Big Things this weekend. If you have read and liked Laurie Halse Anderson, or Judy Blume, pick up Tangled!

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