Hello and happy Sunday! This has been quite the week full of surprises, tragedy, and coming together to take a stand. With that being said, I think the best way we can always participate is through educating ourselves in various ways — books being one of them!
****This book was sent to me for an honest review from the publisher!
Title: The Gatekeepers
Author: Jen Lancaster
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Expected Release: October 10, 2017
My Rating: 3/5 stars
Anyone passing through North Shore, IL, would think this was the most picture-perfect place ever, with all the lakefront mansions and manicured hedges and iron gates. No one talks about the fact that the brilliant, talented kids in this town have a terrible history of throwing themselves in front of commuter trains, and that there’s rampant opioid abuse that often leads to heroin usage.
Meet Simone, the bohemian transfer student from London, who is thrust into the strange new reality of the American high school; Mallory, the hyper-competitive queen bee; and Stephen, the first generation genius who struggles with crippling self-doubt. Each one is shocked when lovable football player Braden takes his own life and the tragedy becomes a suicide cluster. With so many students facing their own demons, can they find a way to save each other—as well as themselves?
Inspired by the true events that happened in the author’s home town.
The best part of this book was getting to know the different characters and their different voices. However, I felt that the author tried a little too hard with trying to get the right slang for a teen’s voice and some of it felt cinematic in that it was a bit forced and not genuine.
I liked the plot as a whole in general. The kids come together and form a strong bond through shared experiences, and Simone is a grounding voice that ties them all together. The seriousness of the subject is one that is hard to tackle, and I felt that it more or less conveyed the message that Lancaster. My major hang up on this book as a whole, however, was the different characters and how they just didn’t really represent a teenager (i.e. their slang).
Important things were highlighted throughout the book. I liked how Lancaster didn’t just focus on the pressure cooker kind of environment of the students’ lives, but also their own mental health. She showed that while environment can play a big role in one’s mental health, there are other things that factor into it. With that said, I can’t speak personally about mental health and how well this boat represents it.