Saturday, June 13, 2009

Book Review: Handcuffs by Bethany Griffin

Summer's here! That means YAYA is kicking off a summertime book club and study. We're starting with a little plug for our own Bethany Griffin, whose novel, Handcuffs recently came out with Delacorte. This review was originally featured at Gracetopia. Grace is, as well as my Facebook wife, a good friend and fellow writer.


She runs out of the room crying.
Let me start over.
My mom runs out of the room crying.
Um, let me start over.

Bethany Griffin’s debut novel, Handcuffs, follows the story of Parker Prescott, an “ice princess” with problems. Her parents are unemployed and about to lose their house, the local high school blogger is spreading rumors that she’s a whore, her sister’s marriage is falling apart right on top of her, and–oh yeah–her ex-boyfriend came over and there was that incident with the handcuffs.

This ain’t Sweet Valley High, folks.

Griffin’s writing is taut and quick, moving through this high-school hell at breakneck speed as Parker tries to fix her life. I could not put the book down–it totally stole an entire Saturday from me.

While the plot is a good one—fast-paced, twisty—it was really the characters that grabbed hold and wouldn’t let me leave. They are exquisitely drawn, fresh and real. I loved Parker, and I was definitely rooting for her very early on. And I may have occasionally said “no! no! Parker don’t!” aloud to the book. Yes, that may have happened. Parker and her problems are easy to relate to–her everyday problems as well as her extraordinary ones. And the ex, ohhhh the ex. He’s mysterious and dangerous… and nameless. Throughout the book he is referred to only as “him” or “my ex-boyfriend” and so on. A cute gimmick? I don’t think so. It focuses the story on Parker. It’s Parker’s feelings for the boy that are important, not necessarily the boy himself. An interesting literary choice on Griffin’s part, and I think a good one.

So overall, I enjoyed this book immensely and I highly recommend it for the YA reader in your life.

Disclaimer: I do happen to know Bethany, she is awesomesauce, but I didn’t let that influence the writing of the review; please don’t let it influence your reading of it.


Summer said...

Sounds like a cool read. Also, Parker is just the hot name in YA right now. I feel like I've read about so many Parkers

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bethany said...

aww thanks Gracie! I'm really glad you liked it.

Highly recommended Minnesota Divorce Lawyer, TCA said...

Oh. My. Gosh. That book sounds crazy good! I've just put it on my list of books to read. It's growing quite a bit, but that's a good thing. I love your book reviews, by the way.