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June 02, 2013

Review: A Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown

Title: Thousand Words
Author: Jennifer Brown
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: May 21st, 2013
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Source: Netgalley
Format: eARC
Pages: 282
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. 
I started this book without really knowing what I was getting myself into. Thousand Words talks about love, betrayal, and friendship. Ashleigh, the main protagonist, has an amazing boyfriend. As her boyfriend, Kaleb, is ready to go to college, Ashleigh is worried that he'll forget about her. When Ashleigh tells her friend about how she feels about this, they convince her to send a picture of herself naked to him so he really won't forget her. After Kaleb goes to college, and comes back to visit just to break up with Ashleigh, things get nasty. Kaleb decides to take revenge by sending her naked photo to his contact list. Thousand Words also transitions from the past to the present, where Ashleigh does her community service for the "crime" she committed. What I really liked about this book is that it talks about a sensitive subject, and kind of teaches you the consequences of doing something as rash as this. 
Ashleigh was a very interesting character to read about. She really beats herself for what she did, and she really doesn't seem like a character who would ever think of doing something like that. She's an athletic student who never got in trouble. I guess she was just in the wrong time and wrong place. I actually blamed her friends for convincing her to do something as stupid as this. In the end, Ashleigh had to pay for what she did. It was sad seeing students calling her names at school, the story getting as serious as child pornography, and so on. I really liked Kaleb at first, because he really did genuinely care about her. I just really hated him for sending the photo, because really, who does that as revenge? Especially to a person who used to "love". Ashleigh really went through a lot of hardships, and it really is sad to see how one text about ruined her life. 
Overall, Thousand Words was a great book. Very sad at times, but very realistic. I really do think that teenage girls should read this, especially those who might think doing something like sending a naked picture of yourself to your boyfriend is okay. I'm definitely going to give Jennifer Brown's other books a try! The writing was also great, and I don't think there was ever a part where I was remotely bored. If you like reading realistic fiction or contemporary books, this one's for you!


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  2. I love Jennifer Brown. I read Hate List recently and it was great (you should definitely read it if you get the chance). This book sounds amazing and this review has made me want to read it even more! I love the issue it deals with - it's a touchy subject but it's also relevant.

    Fantastic review!

    Jade @ Ink Scratchers

  3. Amazing review sweetie. Glad you loved this book :) First time hearing about it. But yeah. It's sounds amazing. But also a bit sad and heartbreaking, because this subject is a bit painful for me. Sigh. But yeah. Think it would be interesting to read :) Thank you for sharing. <3
    Thank you for commenting on my WoW. <3
    Love, Carina @ Carina's Books

  4. Glad to see that you enjoyed this. Been hearing rave reviews of this book. Come visit me as well.


  5. This sounds like an interesting book. I always like it when a realistic problem is tackled. It's good to see the impact of a stupid choice you can make when you are younger.


  6. Oh dear I don't think I'll be reading this one. I have tried Jennifer's books in the past and never liked any of them. I really think the topic of this is rather stupid. To think a text message could ruin your life sounds very teenageish and just plain dumb. I believe if you are going to send a text message or a picture to someone just know what you are doing ahead of time and be able to trust the people you send racy text messages to.

    Thanks for the great review though. Glad you really liked it.

  7. I haven't read a single Jennifer Brown book, but I think I need to read this one soon. My grade recently has this hubbabaloo where this girl sent her boyfriend naked pictures and somehow one his "friends" forwarded it to everyone and it kind of went crazy. So it really can happen and I'm kind of really excited to see if I can relate to this one in any way.

    Fantastic review! I'm really happy you enjoyed this one :)

  8. It's so very sad that Ashleigh had to go through this. What a creep of a boyfriend! I hope he was paid back in the end. And seriously, to be charged with child pornography for sending a photo of yourself?! How stupid are the authorities?! Don't they have bigger fish to fry. Unbelievable! Great review, Farah. :)

  9. Wow, what a jerk Kaleb is. This is such a scary thing now, especially being a parent. I'm glad you liked this. I will keeping an eye out for it too. Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  10. This is my first time seeing this book, but it sounds really good, but possibly emotional. Awesome review!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  11. I agree about realistic and emotional.

  12. I love that Jennifer Brown always pushes the envelope. I'm excited to read this book of hers because it's her signature type of book. I kind of was hoping you would mention Mack. It must have been not that serious if you didn't mention him but it's not about that. I feel like it's really sad that everyone called her names. I mean even if you think it's a completely wrong thing to do there's no reason to insult a girl. I would think if I were at her school I would stand up for her or at least I wouldn't turn my back on her. It was clearly a mistake.

  13. I think that Jennifer Brown does an exceptional job of always tackling the toughest of issues. This is the type of contemporary novel that I live for - and that I love. I want to feel something, and it sounds like this does just that. Fabulous review...I just bought this for myself :)

  14. Ive been wanting to read this. It actually sounds very similar to a book I read earlier this year so I'm concerned about that but I'm sure the author will have her own twist in this one. I have a copy, now I just need to fit it in!

  15. What a lovely review! It makes me want to read this book even more. :)
    Happy Reading! :D

    Tiffa @ The British Book Nerd

  16. I liked this! Like Candace, I've read several books with this same concept, but I really liked the way the book dealt with the aftermath of the whole incident….

    You can find me here: Jen @ YA Romantics