Review: Tangled by Carolyn Mackler

21 Jan

Paradise wasn’t supposed to suck.

Not the state of being, but a resort in the Caribbean.

Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen are all there for different reasons, but at Paradise their lives become tangled together in ways none of them can predict. Paradise will change them all.

It will change Jena, whose first brush with romance takes her that much closer to having a life, and not just reading about those infinitely cooler and more exciting.

It will change Dakota, who needs the devastating truth about his past to make him realize that he doesn’t have to be a jerk just because people think he’s one.

It will change Skye, a heartbreakingly beautiful actress, who must come toterms with the fact that for once she has to stop playing a role or face the consequences.

And it will change Owen, who has never risked anything before and who will take the leap from his online life to a real one all because of a girl he met at Paradise. . . .

From confused to confident and back again, one thing’s certain: Four months after it all begins, none of them will ever be the same.

From HarperCollins website

I have to say, this book wasn’t at all what I was expecting.

I knew it was going to be about four teens whose lives intertwined, but I had assumed their stories would also be intertwined, ala Crash or Magnolia,  but instead the author chose to tell each character’s story separately.  And while they all crossed paths initially in Paradise, a good chunk of the book takes place after. At first I wasn’t sure it was going to work, but in the end it did, and it worked well.

I also really liked how, no matter how popular/unpopular the character was, each had moments of uncertainty about themeleves and who they are.  At one point one of the popular characters was jealous of one of the unpopular characters, making it clear that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

While my teen years are starting to become a distant memory, I do remember being envious of the pretty, popular girls, thinking that their lives were perfect. I think that Tangled could go a long way in helping teens realize that even those that seem to have it all, usually don’t.

Browse inside Tangled.

Thanks to HarperCollins Canada for providing a review copy of Tangled.

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