Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Book Review: Pinned by Sharon G. Flake

From Goodreads...

"Autumn and Adonis have nothing in common and everything in common. Autumn is outgoing and has lots of friends. Adonis is shy and not so eager to connect with people. But even with their differences, the two have one thing in common--they're each dealing with a handicap. For Autumn, who has a learning disability, reading is a painful struggle that makes it hard to focus in class. But as her school’s most aggressive team wrestler, Autumn can take down any problem. Adonis is confined to a wheelchair. He has no legs. He can't walk or dance. But he’s a strong reader who loves books. Even so, Adonis has a secret he knows someone like Autumn can heal.

In time, Autumn and Adonis are forced to see that our greatest weaknesses can turn into the assets that forever change us and those we love.

Told in alternating voices, Take down explores issues of self-discovery, friendship, and what it means to be different."

The first time I saw Pinned by Sharon G. Flake  was at a local Barnes N Noble.  Wrestling didn't interest me and still doesn't.  Recently, I looked up the novel and read the summary, I decided that I should at least give the novel a chance.

The story is told in the points of view of Autumn and Adonis in alternating chapters.  The first person narration allows readers to see things through the eyes of both characters.   Autumn is the only girl wrestler at her school and she excels at the sport. However, she can't seem to  apply the same effort to her school work.  Autumn is reading below grade level and struggles in math.  If she doesn't get her grades up, she is off the wrestling team.  You would think that this would motivate her to pull it together, but it takes a whole lot more than that.

Autumn has a learning disability which makes reading a struggle.  On top of that, Autumn's parents struggle with reading themselves.  Therefore, reading wasn't a big deal until the teachers contacted her Mr. and Mrs. Knight.  On the other hand, Adonis loves books and is a good student.  He is frustrated with Autumn for her lack of motivation and other reasons.  I also understand his frustration because he has to work twice as hard as anybody else because he is a physically challenged African American male.  I don't mean to bring race into this, but it is reality for  many people today.  Adonis's frustration likely comes from if he can make an effort, than so can Autumn.

Throughout the novel, I was frustrated with Autumn myself.  I am avid reader.  It's pretty obvious because I take the time to post book reviews here for free.  I have three library cards-for three different counties, a Goodreads account, and a stack of books at home.   Therefore, I can understand Adonis's viewpoint. However, I found him to be a bit judgmental.

He says that he can judge a person by the type of books they read.  Really? Really?  I have to wonder if Adonis was a real person and saw my Goodreads page or my stack of YA novels, what would he have to say about me?  I read a mix of general fiction, historical fiction, biographies, non fiction, and young adult fiction.  

I confess that I'm not into the classics.  I attempted to read Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte but quickly lost interest.  I think that a lot of English majors would not be too pleased with my reading choices, and would not considered me well read.  

Another interesting situation in this story is that Autumn likes Adonis-really likes him.  However, Adonis doesn't seem interested in her until later.  (Spoiler alert)   

I don't want to give too many spoilers, but I will say that Pinned is worth the read.  Sharon G. Flake expresses the importance of reading without sounding like an after school special or preachy.  I was also happy to see a physically challenged person  in the story.  Adonis was not treated as a stereotype.  

No comments:

Post a Comment