Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review of Sarah Smiles by Seanpaul Thomas

Synopsis: "It's Nineteen ninety one and eleven year old Paul and his family have just moved to the climatic sunshine paradise island of Cyprus.

On Paul's first day at school he becomes completely spellbound by the pretty tomboy Sarah. Though not only because of her cute and athletic good looks. But also because of her rough and tough, jagged edged ways and her no nonsense approach to handling school bully Michael.

This incident triggers off a series of exciting and dramatic events that brings the homely, well rounded Paul and the troubled young Sarah's worlds colliding together. The two then begin an unusual and exciting yet somewhat tragic friendship, which will stay with them for the rest of their lives, as they both battle to confront their inner most fears and demons.

From the mystery of Sarah's Mother's disappearance to the trials and tribulations of growing up on the move with army parents. Sarah's domestic abuse issues living in a broken home with her alcoholic father to dealing with Paul's school bullying from the borderline psychotic Michael. There are Summertime adventures to be had, gorgeous Cypriot beaches and bondoo valley wastelands to explore. To haunted houses, dark hidden caves and first teen romances. All the while dealing with that delicate yet rough transition into becoming a teenager.

But how long can these summertime adventures last when children are forced to grow up so fast in an ever changing world, especially when unforeseen tragedies are just around the corner...

Sarah Smiles is a adventurous, romantic tale for all adults, and young adults alike, to enjoy."

My Review: Sarah Smiles is a great book. Seanpaul takes on some very tough issues in this book. We start with Paul who is in a military family and having to deal with moving constantly and always being the new kid. We then meet Michael who is the bully of the school, but there is far more to his story. Steven we only meet a little but he seems like a potentially great friend. Then we meet Sarah, forced to shoulder the care of her brother, as well as taking over all the tasks her mother should have been dealing with and add in an abusive father. There are so many strong issues of bullying, peer pressure and abuse that they really could have overwhelmed and turned the story gloomy and depressing, but that didn't happen. All while we watch the young military kids deal with the issues, we get to see blossoming friendships and even a little love. It was great that Seanpaul managed to squeeze some tender and fun scenes amidst the harder scenes, a well written book. A great young adult book for any reader!        
My Rating: While it is hard to read about the difficult issues highlighted in Sarah Smiles, it is still a great book.  After seeing so many articles about the lack of male main characters in young adult books, here you go! I give it a rating of Four Paws!
Sarah Smiles was sent to me by the author for review.
You can find out more about Sarah Smiles on Goodreads
You can also purchase your own copy of Sarah Smiles at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

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