Monday, 2 September 2013

Promise Me Something by Sara Kocek

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Albert Whitman & Company and Netgalley.
Promise Me Something
Blurb (from Goodreads):
As if starting high school weren't bad enough, Reyna Fey has to do so at a new school without her best friends. Reyna's plan is to keep her head down, help her father recover from the car accident that almost took his life, and maybe even make some friends. And then Olive Barton notices her. Olive is not exactly the kind of new friend Reyna has in mind. The boys make fun of her, the girls want to fight her, and Olive seems to welcome the challenge. There's something about Olive that Reyna can't help but like. But when Reyna learns Olive's secret, she must decide whether it's better to be good friends with an outcast or fake friends with the popular kids. . . .before she loses Olive forever.

Promise Me Something by Sara Kocek

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Promise Me Something(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Albert Whitman & Company and Netgalley.)
14-year-old Reyna lives with her dad. Her mother died 7 years ago, and she nearly lost her father recently when his girlfriend Lucy crashed the car they were in, leaving him in a coma with a fractured skull.

Reyna is now starting at a new school, leaving her other friends behind. The first friend she makes is a girl called Olive, a girl that Reyna isn’t really sure she even wants to be friends with.

Olive is hiding a secret though, a secret that’s really tough for her to not talk about, and Reyna’s reaction to this secret ruins everything between them.
Can Olive and Reyna be friends again? Why is Olive so sensitive to the homophobic remarks that her teacher comes out with? And who is the girl who lives in Olives shed?


This was an okay story, but some of the content was pretty shocking to me, and I personally don’t think that this book is appropriate for some teens.

I found Reyna a little irritating and almost lifeless. She seemed to just go along with what everyone else was doing, and was overly concerned by what people thought of her.
Olive was also slightly annoying, and again, overly concerned with what people thought of her. I know high school is bad, but I really wanted her to just stick up for herself a little more, and stop being quite so downtrodden.

The storyline in this book was not very good. We had Reyna who was still missing her mother, and very against her father’s girlfriend Lucy, and then we had Olive, her friend who lived in the shed, and Olive’s alcoholic mother. 

SPOILER (highlight to view)

The main storyline in this book was then the fact that Olive was gay. She told Reyna, who then refused to be her friend in case people thought that she was gay, which I thought was a terrible thing to do. Then, to make matters worse, Olive’s friend who lives in the shed commits suicide, and Olive uses this to fake her own death, and then turns up at her own memorial service!

I have to say that I didn’t appreciate this storyline at all, especially when Olive then talks about how she and her friend Grace were sitting on the railway tracks reading by flashlight when Grace decided to kill herself. I mean really? What a shocking storyline to have in a book aimed at teens? This is pretty irresponsible if you ask me, and I’m not impressed.

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The main storyline in this book was then the fact that Olive was gay. She told Reyna, who then refused to be her friend in case people thought that she was gay, which I thought was a terrible thing to do. Then, to make matters worse, Olive’s friend who lives in the shed commits suicide, and Olive uses this to fake her own death, and then turns up at her own memorial service!
I have to say that I didn’t appreciate this storyline at all, especially when Olive then talks about how she and her friend Grace were sitting on the railway tracks reading by flashlight when Grace decided to kill herself. I mean really? What a shocking storyline to have in a book aimed at teens? This is pretty irresponsible if you ask me, and I’m not impressed. (hide spoiler)]


As if the storyline wasn’t bad enough, there were also other parts of this story that I didn’t like. First there was Olive talking about how she wished her mom was dead so that people would feel sorry for her!! Then we had Reyna talking about how her friend Abby touched her dogs naughty bits to find out what they felt like. Just yuck! That must be sexual abuse of a dog or something. Then there was the teacher who was horribly homophobic, and graphic descriptions of what the dead girl looked like after the train had hit her. Generally not very nice to be honest.
Then after all these revelations, the book just sort of ended, I can’t really say that this bothered me too much, because I wanted it to be over, but it was pretty poor really.
Overall; difficult subjects, not handled well, and inappropriate for some teens.
4 out of 10.


3 comments:

  1. This one sounds really weird. And I also don't like main characters who can't really stand up for themselves and just going along with everyone else.

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  2. Sorry that she wasn't the best main character and there was shocking material

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  3. Wow, that spoiler, Yeah, that is very depressing.

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