Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown
Publication date: May 21st 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Number of pages: 284
Genre: YA Contemporary/Realistic Fiction
Source: Borrowed. This is my honest opinion.
Ashleigh’s boyfriend, Kaleb, is about to leave for college, and Ashleigh is worried that he’ll forget about her while he’s away. So at a legendary end-of-summer pool party, Ashleigh’s friends suggest she text him a picture of herself — sans swimsuit — to take with him. Before she can talk herself out of it, Ashleigh strides off to the bathroom, snaps a photo in the full-length mirror, and hits “send.”
But when Kaleb and Ashleigh go through a bad breakup, Kaleb takes revenge by forwarding the text to his baseball team. Soon the photo has gone viral, attracting the attention of the school board, the local police, and the media. As her friends and family try to distance themselves from the scandal, Ashleigh feels completely alone — until she meets Mack while serving her court-ordered community service. Not only does Mack offer a fresh chance at friendship, but he’s the one person in town who received the text of Ashleigh’s photo — and didn’t look.
Acclaimed author Jennifer Brown brings readers a gripping novel about honesty and betrayal, redemption and friendship, attraction and integrity, as Ashleigh finds that while a picture may be worth a thousand words . . . it doesn’t always tell the whole story.
A picture’s worth a thousand words. But they don’t tell the whole story.” – pg 260
Meet my favourite quote in the book = it sums up the story so well and it’s so true. The quote is what was written on Ashleigh’s community service project.
Jennifer Brown is one of my all-time favourite authors. Realistic fiction is one of my guilty pleasures (weird, eh?) and she just pulls it off so well. The other books I’ve read by her include her debut, The Hate List, and her most recent book, Torn Away. Both of which I loved and think about so often. Her books always impact me so much and stick around in my mind.
While Thousand Words is not my favourite book by her, it isn’t to say that I didn’t love it. Because I did. I loved it. Trust me. I read this in less than half a day, I just couldn’t – and didn’t want – to stop reading.
I love the way that all of Jennifer Brown’s books don’t just show the “issue” of the book happening, but very importantly, the consequences. They offer perspective of the people affected and that is something that we don’t really get from sources like the news. They aren’t shy in terms of what they tell you. And while the morals aren’t exactly intricately woven into the text, they’re definitely there, and that’s one of the things that I really love. It’s one of the key factors in the impact the book has. Another thing I love, but which is kind materialistic, is that all her books match. It’s nice.
Like the ending. It was just what I wanted – satisfying and so right for the book. And follow that up with the quirky acknowledgements as well as an author’s note and interview and you pretty much have a recipe for success. I actually enjoyed reading the acknowledgements, they kept with the theme of the book and was done really well. The author’s note and interview was really interesting and worth reading.
One of my issues with Thousand Words was the romance. While I liked both the characters involved (Ashleigh and Mack) I wasn’t particularly impressed. I didn’t really feel any chemistry between them, just that Mack was the most decent guy in the whole book. But I loved the way he stood up for what was right.
My other big issue was with Ashleigh herself. I get that one of the themes in the novel was teenage mistakes and the repercussions but Ashleigh kind of made a little too many for my tastes. The other thing that annoyed me was the way she dealt with certain things, which really can come under mistakes. She just kind of dug her hole deeper and deeper.
I would definitely recommend Thousand Words to fans of realistic fiction. I would recommend all of Jennifer Brown’s books to fans of realistic fiction, actually. They’re so great. I can’t wait for her next book, which hopefully I won’t have to wait too long for.
Meteor shower – a great show!
Add to Goodreads
Jennifer’s debut novel, HATE LIST (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009) received three starred reviews and was selected as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a VOYA “Perfect Ten,” and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. HATE LIST also won the Michigan Library Association’s Thumbs Up! Award, the Louisiana Teen Readers Choice award, the 2012 Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award, was an honorable mention for the 2011 Arkansas Teen Book Award, is a YALSA 2012 Popular Paperback, received spots on the Texas Library Association’s Taysha’s high school reading list as well as the Missouri Library Association’s Missouri Gateway Awards list, and has been chosen to represent the state of Missouri in the 2012 National Book Festival in Washington, DC. Jennifer’s second novel, BITTER END, (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011) received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and VOYA and is listed on the YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults list and is a 2012 Taysha’s high school reading list pick as well.
Jennifer writes and lives in the Kansas City, Missouri area, with her husband and three children.