Canary by Rachele Alpine


I need to preface this review with a disclaimer because it includes subject matter I don't usually put on my website. Canary involves teenagers having sex, drinking, and partying. Although this is a reality for many teenagers, I avoid books with these subjects because it is a reality that should never be encouraged or accepted as normal. I chose to include Canary , because it artfully and tactfully shows the pain and emptiness that come with a partying lifestyle. I recommend it as a book for parents and teens to read and discuss together, to recognize the reality, but work to avoid it.

Kate Franklin is excited to start school at Beacon, the selective private school with a championship basketball team. As the basketball coach's daughter, Kate is readily accepted by the idolized team and their crowd. She enjoys the attention and entitlement given to members of the crowd. However, when life at home gets hard, Kate begins to recognize that her friendships are empty and conditional. When Kate is assaulted by one of the team members at a party, she has to decide between keeping quiet or risking her position at school and her father's career by speaking out.

Canary reveals the harsh reality of athletic entitlement and the power of peer pressure. However, it also shows the victory of familial love and trust, and the importance of having the courage to be yourself.

Recommended ages-16 and up

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