Friday, July 22, 2011

Review: Teenie by Christopher Grant (Teenie Blog Tour)

This review is part of The Teen Book Scene's blog tour for Teenie by Christopher Grant. You can find out more about the tour here. Make sure to visit all the other stops if you'd like to know more about Teenie!

Title: Teenie
Author: Christopher Grant
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 272
Release date: July 23rd 2010
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Bought at The Book Depository
Find out more: Amazon ; Goodreads

Goodreads description:
High school freshman Martine (Teenie for short) is a good student, with a bright future ahead of her. She's desperate to be accepted into a prestigious study abroad program in Spain so that she can see what life is like beyond the streets of Brooklyn. She wouldn't mind escaping from her strict (though lovable) parents for awhile either. But when the captain of the basketball team starts to pay attention to her after she's pined away for him for months and Cherise, her best friend, meets a guy online, Teenie's mind is on anything but her schoolwork. Teenie's longtime crush isn't what he seemed to be, nor is her best friend's online love. Can Teenie get her act together in time to save her friendship with Cherise, save her grade point average so that she can study in Spain, and save herself from a potentially dangerous relationship?

 First sentence:
"It's better to be a good listener than a good talker, because the good listener can remember what was said."

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I had basically no expectations when I first started reading Teenie - the description doesn't sound like much, and it's not a book I've read loads of reviews for. But I'm glad I decided to read this one, and I was pleasantly surprised - Teenie is a fresh and realistic coming-of-age story! Not having one set main topic seemed like a bad thing at first, but that's one of the things I enjoyed most about this book. It touches loads of issues without being a preachy issue-book, and the subtlety is great - it's the kind of book that could mean something different to every reader, in a good way.

My favorite part of Teenie are probably the characters. Even though she's younger than most protagonists I read about (14), she is so easy to relate to, and I felt for her throughout the story. Her voice and the narration are unique but still realistic. The secondary characters are quirky and interesting. I loved reading about Teenie's father and his Bereisms (weird sayings only he uses - they're hilarious) and Teenie's relationship with her parents and older brothers. Many of the scenes with Teenie's family had me laughing out loud. Teenie's relationship with Cherise and her other friends is dynamic and realistic, too.

***The next paragraph contains spoiler-ish information!***
The only character I didn't get was Greg. That whole storyline just didn't make sense to me - if he's such a popular senior and has girls lined up to go out with him, why would he have to force a freshman to do anything with him?

The writing is really good - like I said, Teenie's voice is authentic and fresh. I love how the story is entertaining and funny, but also thought-provoking and touching.

Teenie is a great debut I think has been overlooked by many. It's a realistic portrayal of teenage life, dealing with lots of interesting and important issues without being preachy - a sweet and touching coming-of-age story. I definitely recommend it!


  1. I like these kids of stories. Gives you a glimpse into the minds of young adults and things they have to deal with.
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